Bang on a Can

Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace by William Robin is a riveting history of art and business in the 80’s and 90’s. It reads like a thriller: recommended.

While reading I also caught up with more of the extensive repertoire composed and curated by David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe, that was good to do as well.

Robin occasionally pans out from BOAC to the larger spectrum; the chapter how the hit recording of Henryk Górecki’s Third Symphony affected the record industry was revelatory.

Alex Ross has more on Industry, as does the relevant Robin webpage.


It was good to read Industry ahead of the Bang on a Can watch party I’m moderating tomorrow, featuring the video premiere of Michael Gordon’s Sonatra, performed by Vicky Chow. The video is by Souki Mehdaoui.

In 2018, I wrote about Sonatra for the New Yorker Culture Desk.


Another important streaming event: Alvin Singleton!

From Schott email: “Eight soloists from the Curtis Institute of Music’s Ensemble 20/21 will perform composer-in-residence Alvin Singleton’s complete Argoru series of solo masterworks on Saturday, March 6 as part of a “Portrait of Alvin Singleton” concert. Click here to register for a link to view the performance online. Additionally, on March 7, the concert will be broadcast from the Curtis Institute of Music’s Facebook Page and student performers who were coached on the Argoru series by Mr. Singleton himself will respond in real-time to questions from the audience.”

DTM: Interview with Alvin Singleton.


The Third Symphony, that omni-present standard bearer of “holy minimalism,” may have obscured the rest of Górecki’s canon. Mark Morris introduced me to the short Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra, comprised of two shocking and delightful movements.