event
news

Steel Hammer at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA July 27

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.

The work is inspired by her love for the legends and music of Appalachia, and culls from both the music and oral traditions of the region. The text is taken from over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad – based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales – and explores the subject of human vs…

continue reading
event
event
interviews

Julia Wolfe on NEPR

August 1, 2014

The music of Beethoven and Bach gets a lot of attention in the Berkshires every summer. But amid the more august offerings, there is a musical collective that wants to rip the powdered wig off traditional classical music. Playing the work of living composers, and using unconventional methods, they are interested in anything but a musical history lesson.

Leading a string ensemble of about twenty musicians an hour before their public recital, conductor Brad Lubman gives his players an unusual criticism—they sound too polished, clean, locked in with each other…

continue reading
interviews

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

September 15, 2022
Peter Serling download original
NPR Music
Editors’ Picks

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…

continue reading