Winter's Exile by Kirsten Lies-Warfield, performed by Kirsten Lies-Warfield, trombone and Julian Otis, voice

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA

A new music utopia for composers and performers

July 15-Aug 4, 2024

Please visit the info for applicants page for more info.

VIDEO – Recent fellows share their thoughts and experiences of the festival:

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is a 3-week musical utopia for innovative composers and performers in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts dedicated entirely to adventurous contemporary music. Composers will have their new works performed. Players will perform in ensembles alongside our faculty. The program includes daily performances in the museum galleries, and concludes with a three-day blow-out festival performed by fellows, faculty, and special guests. In the words of previous participants this program is“…one of the most important artistic events in my whole career.” and “life changing.” The program also features African and Latin music workshops, electronics and music business seminars, free events  in the community, and more. Our FACULTY members are some of the most innovative musicians of our time. These are musicians who have dedicated their lives to commissioning, rehearsing, recording and performing music beyond the cutting edge. The program culminates in a 3-day blow out festival called LOUD Weekend. (Read the NYT review of the 2021 LOUD Weekend festival here.)

Most importantly, participants meet new friends and musical colleagues, creating crucial life-long social and professional connections.

Past participants say:

“Bang on a Can is really everything I want the music world to be — inclusive, engaging, innovative, fun, thought-provoking, beautiful, challenging, and rewarding. The festival brings all of that and more directly into focus, and it has made all the difference in the word to have been a part of it.”

“I have never had an experience like this before: the idea of building the kind of musical world one wants to live in seems to be something that is really possible here — it’s a place of community and possibility that is utterly transformative.”

“The people you meet at Bang on a Can are more than just your fellow musicians, contemporary music comrades and colleagues– they become family”

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival will take place at MASS MoCA, located in North Adams, Massachusetts. MASS MoCA presents exhibitions and performances by renowned artists and cultural institutions, but it also is a place where the process of creativity is explored; rehearsals, art fabrication shops, and production studios are open to public view. Bang on a Can has found a home at MASS MoCA for the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and is thrilled to work with them in building a bridge between the arts.

The Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from the Amphion FoundationASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, Valerie Dillon and Daniel Lewis, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia UniversityRobert Black Foundation Bass Scholarship, Herb Leventer, Henry S. McNeil Jr., Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, Art Music Denmark and the Danish Arts Foundation, and Williamson Foundation for Music.

Special thanks go out to Drury High School, Conte Middle School, Williams College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Concert pianos provided courtesy of Falcetti Pianos, offering new and used pianos, rentals, and service. Locations in Springfield and Natick, MA.

Additional support is provided by Hotel Downstreet.

If you have more questions about the festival, please contact the festival manager Philippa Thompson: philippa at

Photo credits: photo of Julian Otis (voice) and Kirsten Lees-Warfield (trombone),  photo of large ensemble conducted by Brad Lubman, and photo of Ghanaian drumming with Nani Agbeli by Kaelan Burkett/MASS MoCA. All other photos courtesy of MASS MoCA.

“What is the Summer Festival” video by Souki Mehdaoui.