Julia Adolphe Head Shot photo Martin Chalifour

Julia Adolphe


Composer Julia Adolphe’s music has been described as “alive with invention” (The New Yorker), “colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated” (The New York Times) and a “mastery of dynamic as well as harmonic complexity” (Financial Times). Adolphe’s works have received performances across the U.S. and abroad by renowned groups such as the New York Philharmonic, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, the Serafin String Quartet, members of the JACK Quartet, Grammy-nominated pianist Aron Kallay and the Great Noise Ensemble. Her awards include a 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artists Award, a 2015 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as grants from New Music USA and American Composers Forum. Adolphe is a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles.

Current commissions include a viola concerto for the New York Philharmonic as well as a large choral work for the Cincinnati May Festival. The viola concerto (co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and League of American Orchestras) follows on the heels of the New York Philharmonic’s premiering Adolphe’s orchestral work Dark Sand, Sifting Light.

Adolphe’s chamber opera, SYLVIA, received premiere concert performances at New York City’s Bargemusic in March 2013 in a set of performances produced by the composer herself. In New York, SYLVIA was hailed as “a short, sharp, powerful opera…searingly vivid” (eMusic) presented “with great clarity, composer and librettist Julia Adolphe encapsulates Sylvia’s dilemma in a plaintive cry” (cityArts).

Adolphe is also an active writer, teacher, and producer. In 2014, NewMusicBox published Adolphe’s articles on teaching music in an all-male maximum security prison. In 2013, she was co-producer of The Prodigal Son conducted by James Conlon for the LA Opera Britten Centennial. She served as the Primary Research Assistant for Conlon’s Orel Foundation, which is dedicated to reviving music suppressed during the Third Reich. As a USC Teaching Assistant, Adolphe taught courses on the History of the Beatles and Classic Rock. She currently pursues a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. Adolphe holds a Master of Music degree in music composition from USC and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and the College Scholar Program from Cornell University.