American composer born 18 December 1958 in Philadelphia.
Julia Wolfe graduated with a Master of Music from Yale University, where she studied with Martin Bresnick, and then obtained Doctorate from Princeton University. In 1987, along with David Lang and Michael Gordon, whom she met at Yale, she founded the Bang on a Can Ensemble, of which all three composers remain the artistic directors. Every year, Bang on a Can organises and performs in a series of Marathon Concerts which take place in the Winter Garden of the atrium of the World Financial Center in Manhattan. She has composed several works in collaboration with David Lang and Michael Gordon, including The Carbon Copy Building (1999), Lost Objects (2001), and Shelter (2005). Julia Wolfe is also the artistic director of the composition programme at the New York University Steinhardt School.
In her works, Julia Wolfe draws inspiration from folk, classical, and rock music, lending an intense physical dimension to her music which often pushes performers to their limits. Her predilection for combinations of string instruments, be they quartets or ensembles, is manifest in works such as Cruel Sister (2004) for string orchestra, based upon an English ballade and commissioned by the Music Chambre Orchestra; Fuel (2007) for string orchestra, composed in collaboration with director Bill Morrison; and Spinning (2018) for three cellos and vocalist, a multimedia work written for cellist Maya Beiser.
Her music has been performed in the United States — at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall — as well as at the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Muziekgebouw (Netherlands), Barbican Centre in London, Settembre Musica in Italy, and at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, and has been recorded by Cantaloupe Music, Teldec, Universal, Sony Classical, and Argo/Decca.
In 2015, her oratorio Anthracite Fields (2014) for choir and ensemble, a commission of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. This piece commemorates the coal miners who worked in north-east Pennsylania, with a text using the testimonies (oral history, interviews, and speeches) of these individuals. In the same year, she received the Herb Alpert Prize, and the following year, the MacArthur Prize. In January 2019, the New York Philharmonic premiered Fire in my mouth for orchestra and female choir. In this work, Wolfe further explored the history of labour in the United States, focussing on the role of women in the clothing industry in New York at the beginning of the 20th century.
Her works are published by Red Poppy.
© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2019
Site de la compositrice.
- Solo (excluding voice)
- elec my lips from speaking for piano and CD (1993), 15 mn, Red Poppy
- elec East Broadway for toy-piano and audio playback (1996), 3 mn, Red Poppy
- Earring for piano (2000), 2 mn, Red Poppy
- Compassion for piano (2001), 12 mn, Red Poppy
- Lass for flute (2014), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- Emunah for cello (2015), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- Spinning Jenny for violin (2016), 4 mn, Red Poppy
- MUTED for violin (2018), 45 mn, Red Poppy
- Chamber music
- On Seven-Star-Shoes for wind quintet (1985), 6 mn, Red Poppy
- Four Marys for string quartet (1991), 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Early that summer for string quartet (1993), 12 mn, Red Poppy
- Dig Deep for string quartet (1995), 14 mn, Red Poppy
- Mink Stole for violin and piano (1997), 12 mn, Red Poppy
- Dark Full Ride for percussionist quartet (2002), 18 mn, Red Poppy
- my lips from speaking arrangement for two pianos (2012), 16 mn, Red Poppy
- Blue Dress for string quartet (2015), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- Cha for saxophone quartet (2015), 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Retrieve for cello and double bass (2016), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- Road Trip for set (2017), 60 mn, Red Poppy
- Instrumental ensemble music
- Amber Waves of Grain for orchestra (1988), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- The Vermeer Room for set (1989), 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Window of Vulnerability for orchestra (1991), 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Arsenal of Democracy for ensemble (1993), 9 mn, Red Poppy
- elec Lick for amplified ensemble (1994), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- Tell me everything for orchestra (1994), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- Steam for flute, electric organ, cello and instruments by Harry Partch (1995), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- Believing for ensemble (1997), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- elec Girlfriend for amplified ensemble (1998), 18 mn, Red Poppy
- Music for Airports for set (1998), 48 mn, Red Poppy
- elec Big Beautiful Dark and Scary for amplified ensemble (2002), 15 mn, Red Poppy
- Cruel Sister for string orchestra (2004), 30 mn, Red Poppy
- Impatience for ensemble (2005), 37 mn, Red Poppy
- Fuel for string orchestra (2007), 21 mn, Red Poppy
- Lad for nine bagpipes (2007), 17 mn, Red Poppy
- singing in the dead of night for set (2008), 18 mn, Red Poppy
- Stronghold for eight double basses (2008), 17 mn, Red Poppy
- Combat de boxe for orchestra (2011), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- Reeling for set (2012), 5 mn, Red Poppy
- Four Marys arrangement for string orchestra (1991, 2015), 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Forbidden Love for string quartet playing percussion (2019), 40 mn, Red Poppy
- Fountain of Youth for orchestra (2019), 12 mn, Red Poppy
- Concert music
- elec My Beautiful Scream concerto for amplified string quartet and orchestra (2003), 25 mn, Red Poppy
- elec True Love for amplified accordion and ensemble (2006), 24 mn, Red Poppy
- riSE and fLY body concerto for percussion and orchestra (2012), 25 mn, Red Poppy
- Wind in my Hair for cello and orchestra (2018), 20 mn, Red Poppy
- Vocal music and instrument(s)
- elec stage The Carbon Copy Building for solo voices and ensemble (1999), 1 h 12 mn, Red Poppy
- elec stage Lost Objects for voice, choir, DJ, baroque orchestra and ensemble (2001), 1 h 2 mn, Red Poppy
- elec stage Shelter for three sopranos and ensemble (2005), 1 h 5 mn, Red Poppy
- Thirst for mixed choir and ensemble (2008), 27 mn, Red Poppy
- stage Water for choir and orchestra (2008), 1 h 16 mn, Red Poppy
- stage Steel Hammer for two sopranos, viola and ensemble (2009), 1 h 10 mn, Red Poppy
- You breathe for choir and string quartet (2013), 5 mn, Red Poppy
- elec Anthracite Fields for choir and ensemble (2014), 1 h 5 mn, Red Poppy
- elec With a blue dress on for violin / voice, four recorded violins and four recorded voices (2010, 2014), 10 mn, Red Poppy
- Cloud River Mountain for soprano and ensemble (2017, 2015), 60 mn, Red Poppy
- Spinning for three cellos and voices (2018), 60 mn, Red Poppy
- Fire in my mouth for two sopranos, two contraltos, girl's choir and orchestra (2019), 60 mn, Red Poppy
- A cappella vocal music
- Guard my tongue for choir (2009), 8 mn, Red Poppy
- Unspecified instrumentation
- Traveling Music per hundred musicians or more (2009), Red Poppy
- Road Trip for set, 60 mn, Red Poppy
- You breathe for choir and string quartet, 5 mn, Red Poppy
- Combat de boxe for orchestra, 8 mn, Red Poppy
- elec True Love for amplified accordion and ensemble, 24 mn, Red Poppy
- Cruel Sister for string orchestra, 30 mn, Red Poppy
- elec My Beautiful Scream concerto for amplified string quartet and orchestra, 25 mn, Red Poppy
- Earring for piano, 2 mn, Red Poppy
- elec stage The Carbon Copy Building for solo voices and ensemble, 1 h 12 mn, Red Poppy
- elec East Broadway for toy-piano and audio playback, 3 mn, Red Poppy
- The Vermeer Room for set, 11 mn, Red Poppy
- Amber Waves of Grain for orchestra, 8 mn, Red Poppy
- On Seven-Star-Shoes for wind quintet, 6 mn, Red Poppy
- Site personnel de la compositrice : https://juliawolfemusic.com/
- Bang on a Can : https://bangonacan.org/
- « Bang on a Can », Tapage nocturne, France Musique, 15 novembre 2013 : https://www.francemusique.fr/emissions/tapage-nocturne/bang-can-26201
(liens vérifiés en juillet 2019).
- Julia WOLFE, Foundation ; Breaker Boys; Speech ; Flowers ; Appliances, dans « Anthracite Fields », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2015, CA21111.
- Julia WOLFE, Cruel Sister ; Fuel, Ensemble Resonanz, Brad Lubman : direction, dans « Cruel Sister », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2011, CA21069.
- Julia WOLFE, LAD ; Dark Full Ride ; My lips from speaking ; Stronghold, dans « Dark Full Ride », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2009, CA21058.
- Julia WOLFE, Dig deep ; Four Marys ; Early that summer, dans « The String Quartets », 1 CD Cantaloupe Music, 2002, CA21011.
- Julia WOLFE, Tell me everything ; Early that summer ; Arsenal of Democracy ; Four Marys ; Steam, dans « Arsenal Of Democracy », 1 CD Point Music, 1996, 454 054-2.
- Julia WOLFE, *Four Marys,*The Cassatt String Quartet, dans « Cassatt », 1 CD Composers Recordings Inc., 1994, CD 671.