David Lang is one of the most performed American composers writing today. He is acclaimed for his vocal music, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion, and for his theatrical imagination, in his operas, in narrative music for dance and film, and in massive site-specific events and installations. He earned Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, and Academy Award nominations for his music for Paolo Sorrentino's film Youth. Most recently, Lang scored Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife, as well as Patty Jenkins’s limited series I Am the Night.
Recent works include his opera prisoner of the state (with libretto by Lang) — premiered in 2019 by the New York Philharmonic, who co-commissioned the work along with Rotterdam's de Doelen Concert Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Opera, and Bruges’s Concertgebouw; the writings, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Netherlands Kamerkoor, and premiered by Theatre of Voices; the mile-long opera, co-created with architect Elizabeth Diller and premiered in New York City's mile-long elevated park The Highline; the loser, which opened the 2016 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for which Lang served as composer, librettist, and stage director; the public domain for 1,000 singers at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival; his chamber opera anatomy theater at Los Angeles Opera and at the Prototype Festival in New York; the concerto man made for the ensemble So Percussion and a consortium of orchestras, including the BBC Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; mountain, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony; death speaks, a song cycle based on Schubert, but performed by rock musicians, including Bryce Dessner from The National and Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond; the whisper opera, for the International Contemporary Ensemble and soprano Tony Arnold; and love fail, an evening-length work for the early music vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, with libretto and staging by Lang.
Lang is a Professor of Music Composition at the Yale School of Music and is Artist in Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.