Wolfe named 2021-2022 Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair

Julia Wolfe named Carnegie Hall’s
2021-2022 Debs Composer’s Chair

Julia Wolfe has been announced as the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2021–2022 season. Wolfe creates music that has been described as emotionally charged, viscerally powerful, and socially conscious. As a composer, she responds to the world around her, bringing unsung histories to life in riveting musical tableaux, with a focus on the multifaceted history of the American worker…

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Big risks and adventurous friends: How composer Julia Wolfe became a renegade

September 15, 2022
Julia Wolfe, composer
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Sometimes, all you need is a little push. In the fall of 1976, when Julia Wolfe arrived at the University of Michigan from Pennsylvania, she was just 17 and viewed herself as a “wild teenager” with her sights on social sciences and politics. Activism was a possible path. Music wasn’t on her radar.

But one day, a friend coaxed Wolfe into taking a peculiar music class, taught by a forward-thinking Quaker who didn’t care how much you knew about composing…

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NY Phil commission: orchestra & chorus

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.

Wolfe has previously explored American labor history with Steel Hammer, her reimagining of the John Henry legend, and Anthracite Fields, an oratorio about Pennsylvania coal miners…

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2022 Artistic Director of Finland’s Avanti! Summer Sounds Festival

I am excited to join the Avanti musicians for the 2022 festival entitled “Body Language.” Each concert has its own unique design – setting up sympathetic resonances and contrasts to create unfolding sonic journeys. New American music abounds. Historic renegades sit side by side with music hot-off-the press. Many of my own works will be performed in Finland for the very first time, including Steel Hammer featuring the magical voices of Trio Mediaeval, and riSE and fLY with the rapid-fire body percussion of Colin Currie, Cruel Sister, Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (version for orchestra), among others…

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Fuel and Cruel Sister at Carnegie Hall

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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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