The festival, also called "Banglewood," features classes, workshops, and performance opportunities for musicians and composers, and focuses on contemporary and innovative music. The program includes such classes as a Balinese music workshop and an orchestra of handmade instruments made during the festival.
The festival's new arts partnership will bring three students from Uzbekistan, who will perform on traditional Uzbek instruments. Future partnerships will feature musicians from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic; the Bang on a Can All-Stars will travel to those regions in October 2005 for a series of workshops and performances.
Daily, free concerts take place in MASS MoCA's galleries, and the festival culminates in two big concerts: Brian Eno's seminal ambient work Music for Airports performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars on July 23, and a six-hour marathon concert, featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars with composer Steve Reich, on July 30.
The festival faculty includes bassist Gregg August, percussionist David Cossin, pianist Stephen Drury, flutist Patti Monson, violinist Todd Reynolds, guiarist Mark Stewart, cellist Wendy Sutter, clarinetist and composer Evan Ziporyn, and composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. Gordon, Wolfe, and Lang are the founders of Bang on a Can, which they created in 1987.