Symphony for a Broken Orchestra

Temple Contemporary

2016
$300,000

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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Wall installation of broken instruments from Philadelphia schools, Temple Contemporary. Photo by Haley Adair.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Karl Seifert.

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803 broken instruments gathered from the Philadelphia School District for Temple Contemporary's Symphony for a Broken Orchestra.

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Abandoned pianos once owned by the Philadelphia School District. Photo by Robert Blackson.

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David Lang, Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, 2017, presented by Temple Contemporary. Photo by Betsy Manning.

Temple Contemporary commissioned Oscar nominee and Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer David Lang to create a new composition for 1,000 broken instruments gathered from Philadelphia public schools. Embracing new possibilities for sound making, the work was performed by a specially assembled 400-member orchestra comprised of Philadelphia school students and teachers, professional musicians from some of the region's major music institutions, and amateur musicians from the city's diverse music communities. Lang, who has had previous experience working with large groups, collaborated with Found Sound Nation, the social engagement wing of the music collective Bang on a Can, and with Temple Contemporary to catalogue and group the broken instruments and identify 60 musician leaders. This leadership team assembled groups of musicians to create and record a comprehensive archive of the sonic potential of their assigned "ensemble" of damaged instruments, which laid the groundwork for Lang's compositional work. The instruments will be repaired and returned to Philadelphia public schools in 2018.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.