Ricordi New York signs Gordon, Lang and Wolfe

Ricordi New York signs Gordon, Lang and Wolfe

We are delighted to announce an exclusive global publishing agreement with innovative American composers and Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. Under the new agreement, Gordon, Lang and Wolfe’s esteemed catalogs are now represented worldwide by Ricordi and its international partners. 

This signing is the first for G. Ricordi & Co., New York, the newest member of Universal Music Publishing Group’s classical publishing operation and the first one in North America, joining its offices in Milan, Paris, Berlin, London and Budapest. 

The trio join Ricordi’s world-class roster of leading composers from the past several centuries including Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Varèse, Nono, Battistelli, Francesconi, Haas, Neuwirth and Poppe. Additionally, Universal Music Publishing Classical boasts the Durand, Salabert, Eschig and Editio Musica Budapest catalogs, which feature celebrated international composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Milhaud, Poulenc, Messiaen, Dusapin, Kodály and Kurtág.

“This is a defining moment for Ricordi and for the new-music landscape of North America, as Michael, David, and Julia are paradigm-shifting composers whose boundless creativity will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come,” said Jude Vaclavik, Director, US Publishing and Promotion for G. Ricordi & Co., New York. “We cherish this rare opportunity to join into a partnership with these iconic composers. It is an honor to be entrusted with their singularly important catalogs.”

Though their vision for the present and future of music is aligned, each composer contributes something unique to their collective musical tapestry. “Gordon is Bang’s resident experimentalist,” writes Alex Ross of The New Yorker, “drawn to densely roiling textures.” 

Lang has become especially known for his music featuring voices, including a steadily growing catalog of innovative operatic works. Says Ross, “Anyone who clings to the prejudice that contemporary classical music is incapable of the most direct beauty should put down this magazine and go listen to the Theatre of Voices’ recording. If you never come back, I won’t blame you.” 

William Robin of The New Yorker said, “Wolfe’s commitment to a pluralist populism—in both musical style and political content—may make her the most relevant Bang composer to the current moment. That democratic impulse also makes her an heir to the legacy of Aaron Copland, whose left-leaning politics guided his construction of an iconic American sound.” 

Michael Gordon

Picture of composer Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is known for his monumental and immersive works. Gordon’s Decasia, for 55 retuned spatially positioned amplified instruments (that also serves as the soundtrack for Bill Morrison’s cult-classic film) has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival and at the Southbank Centre’s Ether Festival. Gordon’s Timber, a tour-de-force for percussion sextet, played on amplified microtonal simantras, has been performed on every continent including by Slagwerk Den Haag at the Musikgebouw (Amsterdam), Mantra Percussion at BAM (New York), So Percussion at the Barbican (London), Ictus at Maerzmusic (Berlin), and live on NPR from a Lowe’s hardware store. Timber has been remixed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Oneohtrix Point Never and Squarepusher. 

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Clouded Yellow (2010)

for amplified string quartet

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Natural History (2016)

in collaboration with the Steiger Butte Drummers and Singers
for orchestra, Native American drummers and spatial instruments

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David Lang

Picture of composer David Lang

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.

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mountain (2014)

for orchestra

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the little match girl passion (2008)

Text by David Lang (after H.C. Andersen, H.P. Paulli, Picander and Saint Matthew)
for chamber choir, plus 4 voices (SATB) each playing simple percussion

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Julia Wolfe

Picture of composer Julia Wolfe

Julia Wolfe’s music is distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the audience. The 2019 world premiere of Fire in my mouth, a large-scale work for orchestra and women's chorus, by the New York Philharmonic with The Crossing and the Young People's Chorus of New York City, received extensive acclaim — one reviewer called the work "a monumental achievement in high musical drama, among the most commandingly imaginative and emotively potent works of any kind that I've ever experienced." (The Nation Magazine)

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Fire in my mouth (2019)

for choir and orchestra

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Cruel Sister (2004)

for string orchestra

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Photos: Peter Serling