NORTH ADAMS -- From Wednesday, July 11 to Saturday, July 28, Mass MoCA explodes with the sounds of the 11th Annual Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, part of Bang on a Can’s 25th birthday year. The festival is dedicated entirely to today’s most exciting, fresh and innovative new music and includes public performances, recitals and lectures. As PBS’s NewsHour reported, "If Tanglewood -- classical music’s far-better-known summer festival, just 30 miles down the road -- is the bastion of tradition, ‘Banglewood’ -- as the folks here like to call this gathering -- is home to the experimental, with everything from a contemporary duet to a Balinese monkey chant."
Festival highlights this year include daily gallery recitals at 1:30 p.m. (Monday-Friday) and 4:30 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), free with museum admission; a performance of Philip Glass’s music featuring Symphony No. 3 arranged for string sextet July 21 (4:30 p.m.); a concert by the inimitable Bang on a Can All-Stars as they perform their brand new evening length masterpiece Field Recordings with guests Nick Zammuto and Todd Reynolds on July 21 (8 p.m.); and the annual Bang on a Can Marathon on July 28 (from 4 to 10 p.m.), featuring more than 30 musicians and composers from around the world for six hours of non-stop, boundary smashing music -- a feast of sound including classical, contemporary, minimalism, ambient, jazz, experimental and more.
This year’s festival will feature the music of special guest Steve Reich. In addition, on Monday, July 23 (4:30 p.m.), during the free Composer Premiere Concert, festival ensembles will premiere seven brand new words written by Banglewood festival composition fellows: Samuel Crawford, Daniel Dehaan, Fjola Evans, Molly Fishman, Yotam Haber, Loren Loiacono, Mike Perdue and John Supko.
Energetic African drumming and dance master Nani Agbeli from Ghana will teach for the first week of the festival. The festival will be attended by seven composers and 30 performers traveling to North Adams from across the United States and around the world, coming from countries as far away as Uzbekistan. For more information about the Summer Festival, visit www.bangonacan.org/summer--festival.
Throughout the Festival, daily 1:30 p.m. recitals offer an opportunity for the performance and composition fellows to interact with the artwork in the galleries, often playing new works created especially for the museum. The 4:30 p.m. recitals feature performances by the Bang on a Can faculty and Festival ensembles. The 4:30 p.m. recital schedule will be posted at www.massmoca.org. The always popular (and nearly always sold out!) Kids Can Too event, a delightful morning of music that teaches kids about a variety of new instruments and sounds, will take place on Saturday, July 14, at 11 a.m.
Tickets to the evening concert on July 21 and the Marathon on July 28 are $24 each. Kids Can Too tickets are $6 per person. Mass MoCA members receive a 10 percent discount on tickets to any evening event. Tickets are available at the Mass MoCA Box Office,10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The Mass MoCA Box Office can also be reached by phone at 413-662-2111 during Box Office hours, or online at www.massmoca.org.