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date: 20 August 2019

Wolfe, Julialocked

  • Kyle Gann

Extract

(b Philadelphia, Dec 18, 1958). American composer. She attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BA 1980), where she studied with Jane Heirich, George Wilson, Leslie Bassett and others. After helping to found the Wild Swan Theater (Ann Arbor) and writing music for its productions, she continued her studies with Bresnick at Yale University (MM 1986). In 1987 she co-founded, with David Lang and her husband Michael Gordon, the Bang on a Can Festival, a showcase for postminimal and vernacular-based new music. In 1992 a Fulbright Fellowship enabled her to work with the Orchestra de Volharding in Amsterdam and brought her into contact with Louis Andriessen, who became a notable influence.

Wolfe’s early music, such as the wind quintet On-Seven-Star-Shoes (1985), is in a postminimal style influenced by Stravinsky, and features running quavers and frequent metre changes. Later works grow out of irregular repetition patterns and embrace extremes of consonance and dissonance within a circumscribed set of harmonies. The orchestral works ...

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New Haven (CT), Yale University, Oral History Archive