New York Philharmonic, The Crossing, and YPC premiere ‘unEarth’

June 1, 2023

World Premiere
June 1-3

New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
with soprano Else Torp, The Crossing (men’s ensemble),
and Young People’s Chorus of NYC
stage direction by Anne Kaufman
scenic projection design by Lucy MacKinnon
sound design by Jody Elff
lighting design by Ben Stanton
[event link]


[IMAGE] unEarth preview article

(click to read NY Times feature on unEarth)

Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for orchestra, men’s chorus, and children’s chorus, Julia Wolfe’s unEarth is a large-scale work that addresses the climate crisis…

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Her Story Boston Symphony Orchestra premiere

March 16, 2023

Her Story
Boston Symphony Orchestra
with Lorelei

Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

March 16-18
followed by performances with:
San Francisco Symphony and National Symphony

[Her Story] has a ferocity that is literally written into the score, but also an absence of resolution as it looks back to suffrage with one wary eye toward the future steps this country still needs to take for something resembling true equality…

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Chicago Symphony premieres ‘Her Story’

January 6, 2023

[IMAGE] Julia Wolfe's Her Story © 2022, Kurt Heinecke
Her Story
Marin Alsop and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Lorelei
January 6-7, 2023

followed by performances with:
Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony,
and National Symphony

[Her Story] has a ferocity that is literally written into the score, but also an absence of resolution as it looks back to suffrage with one wary eye toward the future steps this country still needs to take for something resembling true equality…continue reading

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Her Story world premiere 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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