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Stefan Wolpe  |  Worklist  |  Discography  |  Performances  |  Essay
Stefan Wolpe

Stefan Wolpe"To me Wolpe's music is strikingly original, with a kind of fiery inner logic that makes for fascinated listening.  Some pounding natural force brings it forth and gives it reality."

-- Aaron Copland


"Wolpe was the kind of man who used all eighty-eight notes of his personality."

--Morton Feldman


Recent and upcoming events

  • Aug 29, 2007 - 12 Pieces for String Quartet - Sonar Streich Quartet - Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Aug. 27, 2007 - Chamber Piece No 1- Ostravska Banda, Petr Kotik, conductor - Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • May 21, 2007 - Suite from the Twenties.- The Ebony Band, Werner Herbers, conductor - Nijmegen, De Vereniging
  • April 5, 2007 - On a Mural by Diego Rivera, David's Lament Over Jonathan, Lines from the Prophet Micah, Isaiah.- Ashraf Sewailam, bass-baritone, and Susan Grace, piano - Lincoln Center, New York City
  • February 10, 2007 - About the Seventh, version with oboe - Ensemble Audite Nova, Manuel Nawri, conductor - Heidenheim, Musikschule
Austin Clarkson on Wolpe
Austin Clarkson, editor of "On the Music of Stefan Wolpe: Essays and Recollections," speaks with Molly Sheridan of The American Music Center's NewMusicBox about the book, published by Pendragon Press. From their conversation:

Molly Sheridan: What is it about his music that speaks so strongly to you?

Austin Clarkson: Well, you might call it something as basic as the life force. It's so exciting and so amazingly unpredictable. It is so coherent and yet so unexpected. It has tremendous power. It's like sitting in front of a painting of De Kooning or Rothko: you just know that there is a great intelligence and aesthetic awareness at work.

For more, see NewMusicBox, Feb. 2004 issue.
Performances and recordings during the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2002 revealed Stefan Wolpe as one of the most gifted and protean composers of the 20th century.

Wolpe's compositional career spanned more than fifty years, starting amid the tumult of Germany in the '20s and early '30s, through five years in Palestine, to New York, where he lived from 1938 until his death in 1970. Bristling with energy, his music reflects the spirit of Dada, the Bauhaus, abstract expressionism, and improvisational jazz: in other words, the most engaging artistic movements of wherever he happened to be.

To read an essay by Austin Clarkson on Wolpe's life and music, click on the Essay tab.