News

Her Story premieres September 15

September 15, 2022

read New York Times review from the premiere

listen to NPR interview with Wolfe about Her Story

Julia Wolfe’s Her Story, a 40-minute, theatrical work for orchestra and women’s chamber choir, received its world premiere September 15-17 with the Nashville Symphony and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. The world premiere is followed by performances in 2023 from co-commissioners Chicago Symphony Orchestra (January 6–7), Boston Symphony Orchestra (March 16–18), and San Francisco Symphony (May 25–27); National Symphony Orchestra concerts will be announced at a later date…

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

June 29, 2022

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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Oxygen performance video premiere :: Carnegie Hall residency

February 16, 2022

Julia Wolfe’s 2021-2022 Carnegie Hall Debs Composer’s Chair residency commences with the video premiere of Oxygen, a rapid-fire composition for 12 flutes. Written during the pandemic and filmed in October 2021, Oxygen features an all-star cast of flutists coming together to collaborate after more than a year of artistic isolation. The work was commissioned by the National Flute Association and premiered in March 2021 at the Blair School of Music, led by flutist Molly Barth…

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Concertgebouw Orchestra streams ‘Fountain of Youth’

February 2, 2022

Until February 6, the fiery Concertgebouw Orchestra, with the terrific conductor Klaus Mäkelä, streams Wolfe’s recent piece: Fountain of Youth. Click here to watch their performance.

The piece is noisy, it’s youthful. Washboards! Wild trumpet screams!

People have searched for the fountain of youth for thousands of years. The thought was that if you bathed in or drank from the fountain of youth you would be transformed, rejuvenated…

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

June 10, 2021

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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Steel Hammer film premiere at Cal Performances at Home (streaming)

May 5, 2021

Cal Performances at Home premieres Steel Hammer, a new film featuring the acclaimed oratorio by Julia Wolfe. Film will be available on demand through August 4.

Described by The Boston Globe as “[an] epic explosion and reconstruction of the folk ballad,” Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer is a meditation on over 200 versions of the John Henry legend, with voices and the Bang on a Can All-Stars, along with mountain dulcimer, wooden bones, banjo, harmonicas, clogging, and body percussion…

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Flower Power premieres with LA Phil and 3 European orchestras

February 20, 2020

Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power had three European premieres before the pandemic (each featuring the Bang on a Can All-Stars): London, February 28, 2020 with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Dublin, March 28, 2020 with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Copenhagen, March 5, 2020 with the Danish Radio Symphony.

The work received its world premiere January 18-19, 2020 at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles by the LA Philharmonic, with conductor John Adams and the Bang on a Can All-Stars…

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Fire in my mouth nominated for 2 Grammy awards

February 7, 2020

Fire in my mouth, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, is nominated for two Grammy awards:

Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Julia Wolfe)

Best Engineered Album, Classical (Bob Hanlon and Lawrence Rock, engineers; Ian Good and Lawrence Rock, mastering engineers). Lawrence Rock is Audio Director of the New York Philharmonic; Ian Good is Assistant, Digital Platforms & Experience at the New York Philharmonic.

Fire in my mouth, co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, is a searingly vivid evocation of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire…

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Fire in my mouth album recorded by NY Philharmonic

October 11, 2019

Julia Wolfe’s large-scale work for choir and orchestra Fire in my mouth is released digitally today (August 30) on Decca Gold. It was recorded live at the world premiere in January 2019 by the New York Philharmonic, The Crossing and The Young People’s Chorus of New York City. The physical album will be available October 4.

Fire in my mouth is based on the garment industry in New York City at the turn of the century, with a focus on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and its aftermath…

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