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Julia Wolfe

The Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair

Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe creates music that is emotionally charged, viscerally powerful, and socially aware, bringing unsung histories to life in riveting musical tableaux. One of the co-founders and co-artistic directors of the “relentlessly inventive” (New York Magazine) Bang on a Can collective, she draws inspiration from folk, classical, and rock styles to create musical journeys of powerful discovery.

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All 2021–2022 Events

Selected photography by Stephanie Berger, Pete Checchia, Chris Lee, Steve J. Sherman, and Richard Termine.

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An image of Julia Wolfe resting her chin on her hands against a black background.
An Interview with Julia Wolfe

In advance of her Carnegie Hall residency, Wolfe discussed her music and her three-concert series: Unsung Histories.

Video Credits

Steel Hammer by Julia Wolfe
Commissioned by Bang on a Can with generous support from Maria and Robert A. Skirnick, and Carnegie Hall.

Bang on a Can All-Stars: Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano and melodica; David Cossin, percussion; Arlen Hlusko, cello; Mark Stewart, electric guitar, banjo, mountain dulcimer, and harmonica; and Ken Thomson, clarinets and harmonica.

Rebecca L. Hargrove, Sonya Headlam, and Molly Netter, vocalists.

Film footage courtesy of Cal Performances and Bang on a Can; filmed exclusively for Cal Performances; Jeremy Robins, director.

Vocal, cello, clarinet, and harmonica recordings courtesy of Cal Performances and Bang on a Can; all other recordings courtesy of Cantaloupe Music.

Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe
Commissioned through Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music / USA program, made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.

Additional support through the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler New Ventures Fund, the Presser Foundation, and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Philadelphia Music Project.

Bang on a Can All-Stars: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano and keyboard; David Cossin, drums and percussion; Mark Stewart, guitar; and Ken Thomson, clarinets.

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street: Julian Wachner, conductor; Jennifer Bates, Sarah Brailey, Eric S. Brenner, Linda Lee Jones, Molly Quinn, Melanie Russell, and Elena Williamson, sopranos; Melissa Attebury, Luthien Brackett, Mellissa Hughes, Marguerite Krull, and Kate Maroney, altos; Andrew Fuchs, Brian Giebler, Timothy Hodges, and Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenors; Adam Alexander, Jeffrey Gavett, Christopher Herbert, Dominic Inferrera, Richard Lippold, Thomas McCargar (choral contractor), and Jonathan Woody, basses.

Recording courtesy of Cantaloupe Music.

Cruel Sister by Julia Wolfe
Originally written in 2004 for the Munich Chamber Orchestra; recorded by Ensemble Resonanz in 2007.

Ensemble Resonanz: Brad Lubman, conductor; Barbara Bultmann, Gregor Dierck, Tom Glöckner, Corinna Guthmann, Alexander Brutsch, Yuki Kasai, Anna Melkonyan, Andreas Pfaff, Daniella Strasfogel, and Paul Valikoski, violins; Tim Erik Winzer, Justin Caulley, David Schlage, and Maresi Stumpf, violas; Patrick Sepec, Saerom Park, and Jörn Kellermann, cellos; Lars Burger, bass.

Recording courtesy of Cantaloupe Music.

“Pulse March” by Tyondai Braxton
Performed by Asphalt Orchestra; courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. o/b/o Cantaloupe Music.

Photography Credits

Julia Wolfe by Peter Serling.

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