In Our Time is an ongoing series of wide-ranging conversations with artists whose creative lives and work have left an indelible mark in music, the arts, and culture globally. In Our Time was conceived by the longtime President of Nonesuch Records, Robert Hurwitz whose unique history with each of the artists adds perspective and insight.
American classical singer Julia Bullock is “a musician who delights in making her own rules” (New Yorker). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has, in her early 30s, already headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world.
Also an innovative curator in high demand, she holds notable positions including opera programming host of the new broadcast channel All Arts, founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony and 2020-22 Artist-in-Residence of London’s Guildhall School. Bullock previously made debuts at San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West, Santa Fe Opera in Doctor Atomic, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Dutch National Opera in The Rake’s Progress, and the English National Opera, Spain’s Teatro Real and Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre in the title role of The Indian Queen.
In concert, she has collaborated with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, while her recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the Mostly Mozart and Ojai Music festivals, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her growing discography features Grammy-nominated accounts of West Side Story and Doctor Atomic, which she recorded with the composer conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Committed to integrating community activism with her musical life, Bullock is also a prominent voice for social consciousness and change.
Robert Hurwitz served as President of Nonesuch for thirty-two years, beginning in September 1984. When he took over Nonesuch, it was a classical label and the home of the legendary Explorer series. After he became the head of the label, he redefined its role in contemporary classical music and modern composition, expanded its mission in world music, and began recording and releasing artists from a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, music theater, folk, bluegrass, and rock.
Among the artists he has signed or worked with are composers including John Adams, Laurie Anderson, Timo Andres, Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Henryk Gorecki, Philip Glass, Adam Guettel, Nico Muhly, Astor Piazzolla, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewki, Stephen Sondheim, and John Zorn as well as performers and songwriters including Björk, Devendra Banhart, David Byrne, Jeremy Denk, Bill Frisell, Gipsy Kings, Richard Goode, Tigran Hamasyan, Kronos Quartet, Gidon Kremer, k.d. lang, Lake Street Dive, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Audra McDonald, Natalie Merchant, Stephin Merritt (and the Magnetic Fields), Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Mandy Patinkin, Punch Brothers, Randy Newman, Joshua Redman, Chris Thile, Dawn Upshaw, Caetano Veloso, and the World Saxophone Quartet.
The Boston Globe said, “Under Robert Hurwitz, Nonesuch Records has been an oasis of artistic excitement. When one picks up a Nonesuch CD, there is a sense of occasion, the feeling that the artists in question have been assembled not as an exercise in star power, but as an exercise in artistic exploration.” And the New York Times Magazine said, “In a business now largely run by accountants and M.B.A.’s, Hurwitz is, in the words of Stephen Sondheim, ‘one of the few left who practice the making of records as a craft.’”
Hurwitz has remained closely involved with Nonesuch’s creative activities as an Executive Producer on a dozen projects a year; he is also the Chairman Emeritus of the company. He has taught at the New School for more than a decade, and has been teaching at UCLA for the past few years as well.