David Lang is one of the most highly esteemed and performed American composers writing today. Acclaimed for his vocal music, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion, and for writing narrative music for dance, films, and theatrical productions, as well as his own operas. He earned Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award nominations for his music for Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth. Most recently, Lang scored Paul Dano’s directorial debut, Wildlife, as well as Patty Jenkins’s limited series I Am the Night.
Recent works include his opera prisoner of the state (with libretto by Lang) — premiered in 2019 by the New York Philharmonic, who co-commissioned the work along with Rotterdam’s de Doelen Concert Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, and Bruges’s Concertgebouw; the writings, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Netherlands Kamerkoor, and premiered by Theatre of Voices; the mile-long opera co-created with architect Elizabeth Diller and premiered in New York City’s mile-long elevated park The Highline; the loser, which opened the 2016 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for which Lang served as composer, librettist and stage director; the public domain for 1000 singers at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival; his chamber opera anatomy theater at Los Angeles Opera and at the Prototype Festival in New York; the concerto man made for the ensemble So Percussion and a consortium of orchestras, including the BBC Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; mountain, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony, death speaks, a song cycle based on Schubert, but performed by rock musicians, including Bryce Dessner from The National and Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond; the whisper opera, for the International Contemporary Ensemble and soprano Tony Arnold; and love fail, an evening-length work for the early music vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, with libretto and staging by Lang.
Lang is a Professor of Music Composition at the Yale School of Music and is Artist in Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and Ricordi/Universal Music Classical.