Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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David Lang ’83MAM

Never thought Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Match Girl” and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion were a natural combination? That’s why you didn’t win the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for music, as David Lang ’83MAM did on Monday for The Little Match Girl Passion. Lang, who studied composition at the School of Music under Martin Bresnick, has made noise in the contemporary-music world for two decades as one of the founders and directors of the collective known as Bang on a Can. His winning work, scored for four voices and percussion instruments (played by the singers), explores the Christian aspects of Andersen’s bleak story of a street urchin’s death by telling it in a structure lifted from Bach’s treatment of the death of Christ.

Listen for yourself: Carnegie Hall, which commissioned the piece, has a recording of it available online.

Filed under Music, school of music, performing arts
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