David Lang is one of America's most performed composers, with an extensive catalog that includes opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works. His music defies easy categorization and has been described with adjectives such as "ethereal," "hypnotic," and "direct." In 2008, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion, a score commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Paul Hillier's vocal ensemble Theater of Voices. Lang was also Musical America's 2013 Composer of the Year and recipient of Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer's Chair for 2013–14. His work has amassed a global audience, being heard in performances by such organizations as Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Boston Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet; in theater productions in New York, San Francisco and London; alongside the choreography of Twyla Tharp, La La La Human Steps, the Netherlands Dance Theater, and the Paris Opera Ballet; and at major performance halls and music festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia.
Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. Gordon joined fellow Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe for a symposium at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in June 2009. The three composers spoke about their work as composers, impresarios, and entrepreneurs, and shared recorded examples of their music. Together, they also curated the first Philadelphia iteration of the Bang on a Can marathon, funded by the Center and presented by FringeArts in September 2010.