Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA

A new music utopia for composers and performers
July 15-Aug 4, 2024

Applications are online now! 

Early Bird deadline (no application fee) is Thursday, December 14.
Final deadline is Thursday, January 11.

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.


Applicant info:

We welcome applicants from all over the globe who are at least 21 years old as of the first day of the festival. Performance applicants, please note that we encourage a diversity of instruments, including voice. You do not have to play an instrument included on our faculty to attend the program, as the focus is on chamber music, not individual study.

Work samples required for the application can be viewed on the application info page.

If you are both a composer and performer and want to apply as both, please send an email to [email protected] for instructions on how to submit your second application.

Application fee:

If you apply “early bird,” before Thursday, December 14, 5pm ET, there is no application fee! Use the code BIRD in the order number field at the bottom of the application.

Final application deadline is Thursday January 11, 2024, and application fee is forty dollars ($40 USD), non-refundable.  If this fee is a barrier for you, please write to [email protected] for a waiver.

Participation fee:

The participation fees for the 2024 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival are $3750 tuition, $700 Room and Board (Total $4,450). Tuition assistance is available, see below.

For context on the participation fee – the current total cost per program participant is $9,750. Bang on a Can has raised funds to cover just over half of that amount, and will continue our efforts over the course of the season.

Tuition assistance:

We are grateful to have received some generous funding enabling us to offer support to a limited number of participants with financial need. You will be instructed on how to request assistance upon acceptance to the program.

Tuition support is provided by the Valerie Dillon and Daniel Lewis Fund, the Williamson Foundation for Music, ASCAP Foundation, Robert Black Bass Scholarship (in loving memory of Robert Black), and the Iacuessa Bass Fund.

Art Music Denmark offers a full scholarship for one musician each summer. The musician must either live in Denmark or be a Danish Citizen.

Additionally, composers will receive a commissioning fee from the Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting (amount TBA) for their new works to be written for the festival.

We also highly encourage you to seek your own sources of support from foundations and government sources, crowd funding, and/or your university (if you are a student or recent alum). Bang on a Can will be happy to provide any letters or other documentation to support your efforts.

More info:

Room and Board — Accommodations for the Festival are within walking distance to the museum. Accommodations are double occupancy.

Lunch and dinner are provided Mon-Fri. Participants are responsible for all other meals, including breakfasts daily and weekend meals. There are several local inexpensive eateries near the museum.

All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from MASS MoCA, which is in the city of North Adams in Western Massachusetts (Berkshire County). Information about transportation will be provided.

Results from the application review process will go out on or before Feb 28. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within two weeks upon acceptance to the program. Payment in full is due on June 15.

We recommend you read the daily schedule webpage so you can learn more about life at the festival.