Pulitzer Prize-winning musical composition ‘Anthracite Fields’ to be presented in Nov. 14 concert at Wyoming Seminary
KINGSTON – Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe returns to Pennsylvania coal country on Saturday, Nov. 14 with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Choir of Trinity Wall Street to share her oratorio “Anthracite Fields” with the community that inspired it.
The New York City-based musical ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Julian Wachner, will perform “Anthracite Fields” at Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14. The piece will be illuminated by the visual projections of scenic designer Jeff Sugg. Tickets are $10 and are available online and at the door.
Wolfe also will offer a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Kirby Center.
A portion of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the Anthracite Heritage Museum. Visit www.wyomingseminary.org/anthracite to order tickets online or call 570-270-2192 for information.
In addition, as a way of thanking the community that gave her such invaluable assistance in her research, Wolfe will give a talk at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton. Her talk will begin at 3:15 p.m. and end at 4:45 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Contact the Museum at 570-963-4804 for information.
“Anthracite Fields,” which received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music, includes both the dark echoes of the underground caves and the moments of light in the lives of the miners who persevered and endured. The oratorio’s text draws on oral histories, speeches, geographic descriptions, local rhymes, and a coal advertisement. Wolfe also conducted personal interviews, including with a third-generation miner and the daughter and granddaughter of miners, and journeyed into both an active and a closed mine. To hear portions of the oratorio and to hear Wolfe discuss her composition of the piece, visit www.bangonacan.org.
The recording of “Anthracite Fields” was released last month on Cantaloupe Music, providing music lovers with the first opportunity to experience the piece since it won the Pulitzer Prize last spring. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times said of the premiere at the N.Y. Philharmonic Biennial that it “captures not only the sadness of hard lives lost…but also of the sweetness and passion of a way of daily life now also lost. The music compels without overstatement. This is a major, profound work.” Second Inversion described the piece as “intense, evocative and completely original.”
“Anthracite Fields” was commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia through Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program, made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. Additional support was made possible through the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler New Ventures Fund, The Presser Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
For more information, contact the Wyoming Seminary communications office at 570-270-2192.
Reach the Times Leader arts & entertainment department at 570-991-6109.