Composer and super versatile clarinet player Evan Ziporyn, is leaving the Bang On A Can All-Stars after two decades, the New Music organization announced today.
He’s a founding member and has long been the anchor and frequently the most public face of the sextet. We’re pleased about his personal success, which takes more and more of his time. But we’ll sorely miss his solid, quiet influence in the group.
Here’s the letter from Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe and David Lang, the founders of Bang On A Can:
We wanted to let you know that Evan is leaving the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Evan has been such a big part of everything we have done for the last 25 years. He played on the first festival, and every festival afterwards. He was a founding member of the All-Stars – featured as a composer, performer, scholar, and often as the commentator between pieces, and his compositions have been a highlight of 100’s of the concerts we have done, all around the world. The formal note announcing his moving on is copied below, so you can see how active he is – he is writing music for all sorts of great performers, he is starting a new world-class center for art and technology at MIT, where he teaches. The guy is busy! But we didn’t want Evan to go without pointing out how much we all accomplished together, how close our connection has been, and especially that we wish him all the best.
Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
After 20 years, capped by the recent achievements of Bang on a Can’s 25th year, long-time founding composer/clarinetist Evan Ziporyn is leaving the Bang on a Can All-stars to pursue independent projects and devote himself to his new position as Director of MIT’s Center of Arts, Science & Technology. As a composer, Ziporyn continues to receive commissions from leading new musicians and ensembles: current projects include new works for Yo-Yo Ma, Brooklyn Rider, Maya Beiser, Sentieri Selvaggi, and his own ensemble, Gamelan Galak Tika. As a performer, he will this spring premiere a new clarinet concerto by Don Byron; in February he will unveil his own new performing trio, Eviyan, with Czech violinist/singer Iva Bittova and guitarist Gyan Riley.
Ziporyn’s sound and sensibility have been a major part of Bang on a Can from the beginning. He appeared as a clarinet soloist on the first Bang on a Can Marathon in 1987 and appeared on every subsequent marathon. He was a founding member of the All-stars in 1992; with the group he toured over three dozen countries, and premiered over 100 new works. He also co-produced three of their seminal recordings, 1998’s Music for Airports, 2001’s Renegade Heaven, and 2012’s Big Beautiful Dark & Scary. His solo recordings appeared on the group’s Cantaloupe label. In 2009/10 Bang on a Can produced his opera, A House in Bali, in performances in Bali, Berkeley, Boston, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival; this year his own ensemble, Gamelan Galak Tika, was featured at the organization’s 25th anniversary gala performance at Alice Tully Hall.