News

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Louisville Symphony Orchestra

Teddy Abrams, conductor
Louisville, KY

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Julia Wolfe has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” 

Go to macfound.org for more information.

As part of the New York Commissions to honor the New York Philharmonic's 175th season (2016-17) with New York-themed works by New York-based composers who have strong ties to the Philharmonic, Julia Wolfe presents a new evening-length piece for orchestra and women's choir about women in the American work force. The Philharmonic plans to present this piece in 2018-19.

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In April, the Bang on a Can All-Stars travel to Europe for a blockbuster set of concerts, including the European premiere of Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields and the Dutch premiere of her Steel Hammer

On Saturday April 16, Wolfe's Pulitzer prize-winning, Anthracite Fields, a concert-length work for chorus and instruments, receives its European premiere with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble at The Royal Library of Denmark, Copenhagen

The recording of Anthracite Fields on Cantaloupe Music was nominated for a 2016 Grammy award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

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Read LA Times review of
West Coast premiere at Disney Hall

The Los Angeles Master Chorale and
the Bang on a Can All-Stars

European Premiere
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble

April 16, 2016
The Royal Library of Denmark, Copenhagen

click here to stream the music
click here for the full album

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Julia Wolfe's, Anthracite Fields, her Pulitzer prize-winning oratorio for chorus and amplified ensemble, has received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. 

Click here to listen to an NPR feature on Anthracite Fields.

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watch excerpt of Steel Hammer staged

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On November 14, Julia Wolfe returns to the anthracite coal region in Pennsylvania, which inspired her Pulitzer prize-winning oratorio, Anthracite Fields. In order to share the piece with the community that gave her such invaluable assistance in her research, Wolfe will participate in tours of the Lackawanna Coal Mine and give a talk at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton. That evening, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Julian Wachner, will perform Anthracite Fields at the brand-new Allan P. and Marian Sutherland Kirby Center for Creative Arts at the historic Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, PA. The piece is illuminated by the visual projections of scenic designer Jeff Sugg.

Proceeds from the concert are to benefit the Anthracite Heritage Museum.

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Steel Hammer

After a superb premiere at The Krannert Center in Urbana-Champaign, IL, the staging of Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer by director Anne Bogart and her SITI Company with the Bang on a Can All-Stars goes on tour beginning October 23, with a final performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December!

Steel Hammer
staged by Anne Bogart with SITI Company;
Bang on a Can All-Stars

• UCLA: 10/23-24
• Virginia Tech: 11/17
• OZ Arts, Nashville: 11/21
• Brooklyn Academy of Music: 12/2-12/6

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Anthracite Fields

Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer-Prize winning oratorio for chorus and instruments, Anthracite Fields, will be released on Cantaloupe Music on September 25, 2015. Wolfe wrote the piece after doing extensive research about the coal-mining industry in an area very near where she grew up in Pennsylvania. Her text draws on oral histories, interviews with miners and their families, speeches, geographic descriptions, children's rhymes, and coal advertisements. The recording features the Bang on a Can All-Stars and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, under the direction of Julian Wachner.

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Julia Wolfe Wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Anthracite Fields
an oratorio for chorus and instruments

"[Anthracite Fields] captures not only the sadness of hard lives lost…but also of the sweetness and passion of a way of daily life now also lost. The music compels without overstatement. This is a major, profound work." — Mark Swed, LA Times

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Click on the WQXR streaming player to hear a live recording of Steel Hammer with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and vocalists Emily Eagen, Katie Geissinger and Molly Quinn recfrom October 14, 2014 at Brookfield Place's Winter Garden in New York City. 

This performance was presented in partnership with Arts Brookfield and WNYC's New Sounds Live and hosted by John Schaefer.

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On September 17, Colin Currie reprises his performance of riSE and fLY at London's Southbank Centre, this time with conductor Ricardo Castro and the Youth Orchestra of Bahia.

Inspired by New York City street beats and the rhythms of American work song, Julia Wolfe's riSE and fLY is a dazzling work commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra for Colin Currie.

Borrowing the title from a chain gang work song, Wolfe's intention is to "take Colin to a new place and to bring something earthy and visceral to the orchestra – to break with formality and get down and dirty."

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On May 30 and 31, the NY PHIL Biennial presents the New York premiere of Julia Wolfe's newest work, Anthracite Fields, with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street (Julian Wachner, conductor). In the new work, Wolfe draws from oral histories, interviews, speeches, geographic descriptions, local rhymes, and coal advertisements to create a unique oratorio that provides an intimate look at an important slice of American life. 


Wolfe writes about Anthracite Fields: 

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On Tuesday April 29, Cantaloupe Music releases Julia Wolfe's much-anticipated recording of her evening-length art ballad, Steel Hammer.

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Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer

Pre-order Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer before April 20 and receive advance copies, signed CDs, credit as an Associate Producer (order before February 18), and special hand-drawn score page from Steel Hammer, the hotly anticipated album by Julia Wolfe, featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval. 

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This season Julia Wolfe's large works for string orchestra, Fuel and Cruel Sister, are performed at Carnegie Hall by two of the country's leading interpretors of contemporary works.

On October 25, Robert Spano leads the American Composers Orchestra in their Carnegie performance of Julia Wolfe's full-throttled work for strings, Fuel, on a concert dubbed "Orchestra Underground: Adding Fuel to the Fire".

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On July 27, the Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Bang on a Can present Julia Wolfe’s mesmerizing evening-length art ballad Steel Hammer as part of the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.

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click to hear Steel Hammer podcast

From May 9 through 13, Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer, her evening-length exploration of the American tale of John Henry, receives several European premieres with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval.

May 9: Belgian premiere at the Concertgebouw Brugge

May 11: UK premiere at the Barbican Center in London, part of the festival A Scream and an Outrage

May 13: Swedish premiere at the Uppsala Konsert & Kongress

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It's been a long time coming, but Shelter is finally here! 

The latest collaborative work by Michael GordonDavid Lang, and Julia Wolfe is a modern oratorio that reunites the Bang on a Can founders with Deborah Artman (author of the libretto for 2001's Lost Objects). Produced by Michael Riesman, this premiere recording was performed by Ensemble Signal under the baton of conductor Brad Lubman, and features solo voices Martha CluverMellissa Hughes and Caroline Shaw.

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From January 29 through February 2 the Aire de Jeu festival at Les Subsistances in Lyon, France — the International Laboratory for artistic creation dedicated to theatre, dance, and contemporary circus — features four works (Dig Deep, Dark Full Ride, Lad and Stronghold) by composer Julia Wolfe choreographed by Arkadi Zaides, Maud Le Pladec, Tania Carvalho and Faustin Linyekula.

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On October 11 on the Ether Festival at London's Southbank Centre, international percussion super star, Colin Currie (with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra) premieres Wolfe's newest work for orchestra, riSE and fLY for percussion and orchestra, at the South Bank Centre's Ether Festival in London.

Using street percussion (buckets and junk percussion) and Appalachian body percussion, Wolfe weaves the soloist into the quilted texture of the orchestra to create an introspective and breathtaking experience.

Perhaps antithetic to most percussion concerti over the past many decades, Wolfe's new work focuses onto the intimacy of the instrument, rather than "..and the kitchen sink."

Wolfe writes about the new work:

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At the Barbican Centre in London, on March 20, 2012, the Bang on a Can All-Stars premiere Field Recordings -- with new works by Gordon, Lang and Wolfe. The evening-length project that is as much a mystery as a concert – a kind of ghost story. The ghosts aren’t the physical presence of people gone before, but they are the ghosts of sounds, images, ideas, and voices. Each composer has been asked to find and interact with something recorded before, using the power of music made right in front of us to reach out to other things not present. 

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Wolfe's critically-acclaimed work Fuel was given its Dutch premiere by the Residentie Orkest. Click here for more.

Julia Wolfe's critically-acclaimed work Steel Hammer receives its Boston premiere on November 12 at MIT. Click here for more info.

Read the New York Times Preview

Miller Theater at Columbia University presents a portrait concert of the music of Julia Wolfe on February 3.

New York's Signal Ensemble, conducted by Brad Lubman, gives the NY premieres of Wolfe's two string orchestra works, Fuel and Cruel Sister.

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