Classical singer Julia Bullock makes her solo recording debut, Walking in the Dark, December 9, 2022 on Nonesuch Records. Bullock is joined on the album by London’s Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Christian Reif for Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and an aria from John Adams’s El Niño. With Reif on piano she also performs a traditional spiritual and songs by Oscar Brown, Jr.; Billy Taylor; and Sandy Denny. Preorders are available now, along with the Connie Converse song “One by One,” whose lyrics are featured in the album title.
Of the album’s varied repertoire, Bullock says, “This music and poetry have contributed to my development as a classical singer. Over the years, I’ve returned to this material with reconsideration, revision, and review, and that makes me undoubtedly call these songs ‘classics’—classics, which are inclusive of traditions across cultures, and celebrate a diversity of thought, expression, and experience.”
Bullock curates a series of programs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic this November, before joining them in January for performances of John Adams’s Girls of the Golden West. She has additional engagements in Hamburg, Amsterdam, and San Francisco, among other cities, in the coming months. A complete list of dates may be found here.
Julia Bullock is an American classical singer who “communicates intense, authentic feeling, as if she were singing right from her soul” (Opera News). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. An innovative curator in high demand from a diverse group of arts presenters, museums and schools, her notable positions have included collaborative partner of Esa-Pekka Salonen at the San Francisco Symphony, 2020–22 artist-in-residence of London’s Guildhall School, 2019-20 artist-in-residence of the San Francisco Symphony, and 2018-19 artist-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
She is also a prominent voice of social consciousness and activism. As Vanity Fair notes, Bullock is “young, highly successful, [and] politically engaged,” with the “ability to inject each note she sings with a sense of grace and urgency, lending her performances the feel of being both of the moment and incredibly timeless.” Honored as a 2021 Artist of the Year and “agent of change” by Musical America, Bullock gave a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert as part of NPR Music’s special quarantine edition of the series in December 2020; NPR’s Tom Huizenga characterized it as “among the most transcendent musical moments I’ve experienced.”
Bullock was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where she joined the artist-in-training program at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis while in high school. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music, her master’s degree in Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and her artist diploma at New York’s Juilliard School. It was there that she first met her husband, conductor Christian Reif, with whom she now lives in Munich.
Walking in the Dark
(first released 1960, rearranged 2013)
Poetry and Music by Oscar Brown Jr. (1926-2005)
Arr. by Jeremy Siskind & Julia Bullock; inspired by Nina Simone
(first recorded 1954, rearranged 2017)
Poetry and Music by Connie Converse (b. 1924, disappeared 1974)
Arr. by Jeremy Siskind
MEMORIAL DE TLATELOLCO
From El Niño (composed 2000)
Poetry by Rosario Castellanos (1925 – 1974)
Music by John Adams (b. 1947)
CITY CALLED HEAVEN
(arranged c. 1930)
Poetry and Music developed by enslaved person/s in the United States
Traditional Black Spiritual
Arr. by Hall Johnson (1888 – 1970)
I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE
(first released 1963, rearranged 2013)
Poetry and Music by Dick Dallas (1937 – 2004) and Billy Taylor (1921 – 2010)
Arr. by Jeremy Siskind
KNOXVILLE: SUMMER OF 1915, OP. 24
Text by James Agee (1909 – 1955) (published 1938)
Music by Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981)
WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES
(first recorded 1967, released 1973, rearranged 2021)
Poetry and Music by Sandy Denny (1947 – 1978)
Arr. by Jeremy Siskind, Christian Reif, Julia Bullock