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

September 15, 2022
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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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The New York Times

February 1, 2011

By Allan Kozinn

Like most composers, Julia Wolfe is often in two places at once psychically: working on new pieces (with working defined as anything from cogitating and experimenting to actually putting the notes on paper) but also seeing that the backlist is getting attention. In recent weeks she has been putting the finishing touches on “Iron Maiden,” a new solo work for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and working on “Combat de Boxe,” for the Asko Ensemble of the Netherlands…

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Philadelphia Inquirer

November 15, 2009

By David Patrick Stearns

NEW YORK — Among downtown New York composers, few stick so relentlessly to the cutting edge as Julia Wolfe.

Now 50, she recently wrote a piece for nine bagpipes that sent her two children running for cover in her SoHo loft. Even her husband, Michael Gordon, who with her cofounded the composer collective Bang on a Can, has been moving toward more mainstream music for opera and film…

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