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Julia Wolfe

Born: 1958

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Peter Serling


Drawing inspiration from the folk, classical, and rock genres, Wolfe's music is distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the audience. A finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her evening-length Steel Hammer, written for the Bang On A Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval, Julia Wolfe's music brings a modern sensibility to each genre while simultaneously tearing down the walls between them. In the words of the Wall Street Journal, Wolfe has "long inhabited a terrain of [her] own, a place where classical forms are recharged by the repetitive patterns of minimalism and the driving energy of rock."

Recent projects include riSE and fLY for Colin Currie and the BBC orchestra and Anthracite Fields for the Mendelssohn Club Choir of Philadelphia with the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Its world premiere is in April 2014 in Philadelphia; its New York premiere follows in May with the Trinity Choir, part of the New York Philharmonic's inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

Wolfe's music has been heard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Settembre Musica (Italy), Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and has been recorded on Cantaloupe, Teldec, Point/Universal, Sony Classical, and Argo/Decca. Wolfe has been a recipient of numerous grants, including awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, and a Fulbright to The Netherlands. Wolfe joined the New York University Steinhardt School's composition faculty in the fall of 2009. She is co-founder of New York's music collective Bang on a Can. 

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