Composer and YSM faculty member David Lang is one of five individuals honored at The Ohio State University's spring 2015 commencement. Ceremonies took place Sunday, May 10, in Ohio Stadium. Lang was one of three people given honorary doctorates for their contributions to society and academics.
Honorary doctorates were presented to Lang, a composer who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize; Michael L. J. Appuzo, a New Haven-born Yale graduate who is one of the world's most respected neurological surgeons; and Kathleen Sebelius, a native Ohioan with a long and distinguished career in public service.
The following is taken from the announcement of Lang's honorary Doctor of Music degree.
Among the most-performed contemporary American composers, David Lang has achieved international recognition for the fierce energy and intelligence of his compositions.
He began his career as a composer after earning degrees from the University of Iowa, Stanford University and Yale University. His extensive catalog of music - described as ominous and ethereal, hypnotic and unsettling - includes works for nearly every genre and instrumentation. Renowned performing arts organizations around the world have presented his work, including the Santa Fe Opera, the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Paris Opera Ballet.
In 2008, Lang received the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his critically acclaimed the little match girl passion, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall in New York and the Perth Theatre and Concert Hall in Scotland. For his groundbreaking work, Lang has received many other honors, including the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall, Musical America's Composer of the Year Award, a Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the International Society for the Performing Arts' Distinguished Artist Award.
He also has received numerous grants and fellowships from some of the most prominent foundations in the United States, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The French government also named Lang a chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2014 he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Lang is a well-respected educator and advocate for new music. He is the co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's famous music festival Bang on a Can. Additionally, he is a professor of music composition with the Yale School of Music.