Celebrated composer and Steinhardt faculty member Julia Wolfe is one of 14 new members inducted this week to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Each year it elects new members, administers over 70 awards and prizes, exhibits art and manuscripts, funds performances of new works of musical theater, and purchases artwork for donation to museums across the United States.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters induction and award ceremony took place on May 17, 2017. An exhibition of art, architecture, books, and manuscripts by new members and recipients of awards is on view in the Academy Galleries through June 11.
Wolfe, an associate professor of music composition in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, has been widely recognized for her work in recent years. She was named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition “Anthracite Fields,” an oratorio about Pennsylvania coal miners and their families, which also received a Grammy nomination.
She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of the international music collective Bang on a Can and has collaborated with theater artist Anna Deavere Smith, filmmaker Bill Morrison, projection artist Jeff Sugg, and director Anne Bogart, among others.
Wolfe is currently working on a new new evening-length piece for orchestra and women’s choir exploring women’s labor issues, with a focus on New York City’s garment industry. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, the piece is due to premiere in 2018.