Performances Reviews

Bang on a Can All-Stars – The Audience Calls the Tune

The Times reports how fan funding is allowing Band on a Can to play works of young composers.

When concertgoers think about how music is commissioned, they tend to consider it other people’s business: somehow the money is raised to pay for the works, and presumably the musicians decide what composers to invite. But the composers who run Bang on a Can, the new-music organization, decided that it would be good for the audience to have a stake in the creation of new pieces, and in 1997 they established the People’s Commissioning Fund — a grassroots project through which listeners could make donations toward commissioning works from young composers.

The resulting scores are performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars in an annual People’s Commissioning Fund concert that is also part of the New Sounds Live series at Merkin Concert Hall.

The composers who benefited from this populist largesse this year were Lok Yin Tang and Kate Moore, whose works were played on Thursday evening.

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