Friday, May 25, 2012

Welcome Julia Wolfe to June in Buffalo 2012!




We at the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music are thrilled to welcome Julia Wolfe to the faculty of June in Buffalo 2012. Julia Wolfe is a prolific composer who, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, has "long inhabited a terrain of [her] own, a place where classical forms are recharged by the repetitive patterns of minimalism and the driving energy of rock." She is an original co-founder of Bang on a Can, an ambitious NYC-based music organization that plays, according to the New York Times, “a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn’t concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come.” Julia Wofe was recently nominated to be a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her work Steel Hammer, which was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and written for the Bang On A Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval, and recently received its Boston premiere at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology.


Julia Wolfe
Julia Wolfe has written a major body of work for strings, from quartets to full orchestra. Her quartets, as described by the New Yorker magazine "combine the violent forward drive of rock music with an aura of minimalist serenity [using] the four instruments as a big guitar, whipping psychedelic states of mind into frenzied and ecstatic climaxes." Wolfe's Cruel Sister for string orchestra, inspired by a traditional English ballad of a love rivalry between sisters, was commissioned by the Munich Chamber Orchestra and received its US premiere at the Spoleto Festival, and was recently released (along with her other string orchestra piece, Fuel) on Cantaloupe Records. Written shortly after September 11, 2001, her string quartet concerto My Beautiful Scream, written for Kronos Quartet and the Orchestre National de France (premiered in the US at the Cabrillo Festival under the direction of Marin Alsop), was inspired by the idea of a slow motion scream.



The influence of pop culture can be heard in many of Wolfe's works, including Lick and Believing for the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Lick, based on fragments of funk, has become a manifesto for the new generation of pop-influenced composers. The raucous My Lips From Speaking for six pianos was inspired by the opening riff of the Aretha Franklin tune Think. Wolfe's Dark Full Ride is an obsessive and relentless exploration of the drum set, beginning with an extended hi-hat spotlight. In LAD, Wolfe creates a kaleidoscopic landscape for nine bagpipes.

Her most recent works include Combat Du Boxe for the Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble (using another film by De Keukeleire), a solo (with 8 pre-recorded parts) called With A Blue Dress On for violinist Monica Germino, and a new solo for percussionist Evelyn Glennie called Iron Maiden. Upcoming works include an evening-length piece for Celtic singer and the string quartet Ethel, a concerto with orchestra and the percussionist Colin Currie, and a chamber concerto for German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser.

Check out the great performance below of Julia Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride, as interpreted by longtime friends of the Center for 21st Century Music, the Talujon Percussion Ensemble.









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