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Photo courtesy David Lang

Composer; Professor of Music Composition, Yale University

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2024

David Lang is a professor of music composition at the Yale School of Music. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can.


Lang’s the little match girl passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and premiered by Paul Hillier and Theatre of Voices, was listed by The Guardian as “one of the top 25 works of classical music written in the twenty-first century,” and received the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, and a Grammy Award in 2010. “Simple song #3,” written as part of a score for Paolo Sorrentino’s film YOUTH, received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations in 2016.


Lang’s opera prisoner of the state was co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam’s De Doelen Concert Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, and Bruges’s Concertgebouw, and premiered in June 2019 in New York (conducted by Jaap van Zweden). prisoner of the state had its UK premiere in January 2020 with the BBC Symphony (conducted by Ilan Volkov) and EU premiere in May 2023 with the Bochum Sinfoniker (conducted by Steven Sloane).


Lang’s music is published by Red Poppy Music and G. Ricordi & Co., New York (ASCAP) and is is distributed worldwide by the Universal Music Publishing Group.

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