On May 17, Julia joined members of the San Francisco Symphony for “History’s Persistent Voice,” a program that highlights the words, work, and experiences of Black American artists. In this mixed media concert, voices—spanning across generations—who were enslaved through the 1860s are heard alongside those who lived through years of convict leasing, share cropping, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration.
What critics are saying:
“It’s one thing to sing with grace, beauty and expressive depth, and it’s another thing to design an evening’s program that puts those musical gifts into an urgently meaningful context.Soprano Julia Bullock can do both. “History’s Persistent Voice,” the dazzlingly multifarious recital program that Bullock unveiled on Tuesday, May 17, with the San Francisco Symphony, marshaled new works composed by five Black women to present a taut musical symposium on an array of subjects: race, freedom, art, language, motherhood and more. And with her husband and collaborator, German conductor Christian Reif, leading members of the Symphony in Davies Symphony Hall in the performance, Bullock brought an almost unearthly measure of eloquence to the proceedings. This was music operating simultaneously as probing social commentary and pure sensual delight.”
—Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle