Drawing inspiration from the folk, classical and rock genres, Julia Wolfe’s music is distinguished by an intense physicality and relentless power that push performers to extremes and demand attention from the audience. A finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her evening-length Steel Hammer, written for the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval, Wolfe’s music brings a modern sensibility to each genre while simultaneously tearing down the walls between them. Her music has been heard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Settembre Musica (Italy), Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and has been recorded on Cantaloupe, Teldec, Point/Universal, Sony Classical and Argo/Decca. Wolfe has been a recipient of numerous grants, including awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, and a Fulbright to The Netherlands. Wolfe joined the New York University Steinhardt School’s composition faculty in 2009.
Wolfe is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can. Gordon joined fellow Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon and David Lang for a symposium at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in June 2009. The three composers spoke about their work as composers, impresarios, and entrepreneurs, and shared recorded examples of their music. Together, they also curated the first Philadelphia iteration of the Bang on a Can marathon, funded by the Center and presented by FringeArts in September 2010. Wolfe has also written a new 45-minute, multi-movement, hybrid choral work, Anthracite Fields, commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia with support from the Center. Premiered in April 2014, the new work draws inspiration from Anglo-American folk music and stories around coal mining communities in Pennsylvania, Wolfe’s home state. Wolfe has researched folk stories, traditional mining songs, and personal tales from the chorus and community at large, involving audiences directly in the creation of the work.
The finale concert of the Mann Center’s Philadelphia Freedom Festival, “Gospel Meets Symphony,” has received widespread media attention.
Judith E. Stein is a writer, curator, and a 1994 Pew Fellow.
We speak with Xavier—2013 Pew Fellow, hip-hop dancer, and Post-it aficionado—whose recent work The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance was hailed by Dance Magazine as “artful and mesmerizing.”
Rainey is a 2013 Pew Fellow, a soprano saxophonist and composer, one half of improvisational duo nmperign, and leader of the BSC, an eight-member ensemble that uses both acoustic and electronic instruments.
Crossroads Music presented a 24-hour marathon concert of Hindustani (North Indian classical) music, featuring leading musicians from India and the United States.
Chris Madak bridges (Pew Fellow, 2015) drone and contemporary experimental electronic music, demonstrating a refined and subtle, yet accessible, musical voice.
Center-supported performance projects and exhibitions continue to have successful presentations after their initial premieres in our region.
A music and movement performance that will offer audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’ four-century-old classic, Don Quixote.
Four artists of Arab heritage will come together in an international collaboration to create new poetry, music, and visual art works grappling with notions of displacement.
Sanford Biggers’ art frequently references African American ethnography, hip-hop music, Buddhism, African spirituality, Indo-European Vodoun, Jazz, Afrofuturism, urban culture, and icons from Americana.
Vincent D. Feldman is a visual artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.
Glen Weldon is a writer and a 1994 Pew Fellow.