updated 27 August 2020
© Peter Serling

David Lang

American composer born 8 January 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

David Lang was born in the United States in 1957. He holds degrees from the Universities of Stanford (1978), Iowa (1980), and Yale (1989). He has studied with Jacob Druckman, Hans Werner Henze, Martin Bresnick, Roger Reynolds, and Henri Lazarof.

In 1987, Lang founded the Bang on a Can collective with Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe. Each year, the collective, whose three founders also serve as its artistic directors, gives the Marathon concert series in New York, and tours internationally with their ensemble, the Bang On A Can All Stars. Bang On A Can has also commissioned works from numerous composers, including Terry Riley, John Adams, Michael Nyman, and Ornette Coleman.

In 1992, David Lang was composer in residence at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Lang’s catalogue of over fifty composition covers all musical genres, from are you experienced?, inspired by the work of Jimi Hendrix, to death speaks, a cycle of songs inspired by Schubert and performed by rock musicians. His the whisper opera, was performed by soprano Tony Arnold, accompanied by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. His opera anatomy theater, for which he wrote the libretto with visual artist Mark Dion, imagines its audience as eighteenth century spectators of a criminal autopsy. His choral piece the public domain, whose premiere, in August 2016, was conducted by Simon Halsey on the campus of Lincoln Center, brought together more than a thousand volunteer singers.

Lang has on several occasions worked with choreographers such as Susan Marshall (play/pause), Édouard Lock and La La La Human Steps (amelia), and Benjamin Millepied and the New York City Ballet (plainspoken).

He has also composed multiple film scores, including Untitled for Jonathan Parker’s eponymous film and simple song #3 for Youth, directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

Lang’s works have been performed by the BBC Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Boston Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet.

David Lang has won multiple awards and honors. His the little match girl passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Theater of Voices, received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music. He has also been awarded the Prix de Rome, Musical America’s Composer of the Year, Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair, a Grammy award, and the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich).

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2016

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en août 2020).


  • David LANG, Nico MUHLY, « David Lang », BOMB, n° 122, Winter 2012/2013, p. 26-32.
  • David LANG, Wolf KAMPMANN, « Ich bin keine Firma: Wolf Kampmann im gespräch mit dem new yorker Komponisten David Lang », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, vol. 162 n° 5, 2001, p. 44-47.
  • Martin LÜCKE, « Kirzweiliger minimalismus: “Shelter” von Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe und David Lang in der kölner Musikfabrik », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, vol. 166 n° 3, 2005, p. 68-69.

Discographie sélective

  • David LANG, Even Glenn Gould, our friend ; Strangely enough ; It’s not my way ; Glenn is the victor ; Those who live in the country ; I’m the survivor ; Glenn died at the perfect moment ; The loser was a born loser, dans « The Loser », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2020, CA21155.
  • David LANG, Joy ; After joy ; Before sorrow ; Sorrow ; After sorrow ; Before glory ; Glory, dans « Mystery sonatas », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2018, CA21142.
  • David LANG, Writing on water ; Forced march ; Increase ; Pierced, dans « Writing on water », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2018, CA21139.
  • David LANG, Thorn ; Lend/Lease ; Short Fall ; Involuntary ; Vent ; Burn notice ; Frag, dans « Thorn », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2017, CA21132.
  • David LANG, The Day ; World to Come, dans « The Day », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2017, CA21135.
  • David LANG, the national anthems ; the little match girl passion (for chorus), Los Angeles Master Chorale, Calder Quartet, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2016, CA21119.
  • David LANG, the difficulty of crossing a field, The Harlem String Quartet, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2015, CA21107.
  • David LANG, unused swan, dans « Field Recordings », Bang on a Can All-Stars, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2015, CA21108.
  • David LANG, simple song #3 ; just (after song of songs) ; wood symphony, dans « Youth : Soundtrack to Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth », 1 cd Milan Records, 2015.
  • David LANG, love fail, Anonymous 4, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2014, CA21100.
  • David LANG, Michael GORDON, Julia WOLFE, Shelter, Ensemble Signal, Brad Lubman, direction, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2013, CA21083.
  • David LANG, The Woodmans: Music from the Film, So Percussion, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2011, CA201079.
  • David LANG, sunray, dans « Big Beautiful Dark and Scary », Bang on a Can All-Stars, 1 cd Cantaloupe Musique, 2011, CA21074.
  • David LANG, this was written by hand ; memory pieces ; wed ; beach, Andrew Zolinsky, piano, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2011, CA21073.
  • David LANG, Untitled (music score)  ; press release ; cheating, lying, stealing ; sweet air ; the anvil chorus ; the so-called laws of nature ; wed ; stick figure, Evan Ziporyn, Lisa Moore, Steven Schick, Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi, Bang on a Can All-Stars, So Percussion, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2009, CA21050.
  • David LANG, the little match girl passion ; for love is strong ; i lie ; evening morning day ; again (after ecclesiastes), Theater of Voices, 1 cd Harmonia Mundi, 2009, HMU807496.
  • David LANG, pierced ; how to pray (for orchestra) ; cheating, lying, stealing ; wed ; Heroin (arrangement), Theo Bleckmann, voix, Evan Ziporyn, clarinette basse, Real Quiet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, direction, 1 cd Naxos, 2008.
  • David LANG, the anvil chorus, dans « Bang on a Can Live Volume 2 », Steven Schick, percussion, 1 cd New World Records, 2007, NWCR646.
  • David LANG, Michael GORDON, Julia WOLFE, The Carbon Copy Building, Bang on a Can All-Stars, 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2007, CA21038.
  • David LANG, child : my very empty mouth ; sweet air ; short fall ; stick figure ; little eye, Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2003, CA21013.
  • David LANG, cheating, lying, stealing, dans « Bang on a Can Classics », Bang on a Can All-Stars, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2002, CA21010.
  • David LANG, the passing measures, Marty Ehrlich, clarinette basse, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Paul Herbert, direction, 1 cd Cantaloupe Music, 2001, CA21003.
  • David LANG, Michael GORDON, Julia WOLFE, Lost Objects, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Concerto Köln, Rias-Kammerchor, Daniel Reuss, direction, 1 cd Teldec, 2001
  • David LANG, Are you experienced? ; spud ; orpheus over and under ; illumination rounds, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, 1 cd Composers Recordings, 1994.
  • David LANG (arrangt.), Music for Airports, Bang on a Can All-Stars, 1 cd Philipps, 1998.

Discographie exhaustive sur le site de David Lang : http://davidlangmusic.com/discography


  • Elevated :avec les pièces de David Langwed ; how to pray ; men et les films de Bill Morisson, William Wegman et Matt Mullican, 1 DVD Cantaloupe Music, 2005, CA21029.
  • Amelia - a film by Édouard Lock, Nadine Medawar, voix, Alexandre Castongua, violoncelle, Simon Claude, violon, Njo Kong Kie, piano et direction musicale, La La La Human Steps, 1 DVD Opus Arte, 2002.
  • Music for Airports / In the Ocean, réalisé par Frank Scheffer, 1 DVD Medici Arts, 2009.