Composer Julia Wolfe lives in Lower Manhattan, just blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. She and her family watched 9/11 unfold around them, and dealt with the aftermath.
Julia's accolades include a Pulitzer Prize in Music and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. She won recognition for writing big, ambitious pieces that look back at American history. But she wrote one of her most stark, concise works as a response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. She called it “Compassion.”
Hear “Compassion” performed in concert by pianist Conrad Tao at the Aspen Music Festival and School -- and more of Julia's story -- in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.
What to listen to next? Check out these links:
- Watch a documentary about Julia's Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, "Anthracite Fields"
- See Conrad Tao perform a piece for piano and iPad in the CPR Performance Studio
- Hear "Big Beautiful Dark and Scary," another musical response to 9/11 by Julia Wolfe, performed by the Bang On A Can All-Stars
- Check out performances of contemporary music by Sarah Cahill, the pianist who commissioned "Compassion" and premiered it in 2001