Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein

Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein


American vocalist 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 some of the preeminent arts institutions worldwide. An innovative programmer whose artistic curation is in high demand, she serves as 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence of the San Francisco Symphony, while her past, present and future curatorial positions include 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, opera-programming host of new broadcast channel All Arts, founding member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), and member of a newly created cross-disciplinary artistic team assembled by Esa-Pekka Salonen for his inaugural season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony (2020-21). Chosen as one of WQXR’s “19 for 19” artists to watch in 2019, Bullock is also a prominent voice of social consciousness and activism. She is, in the words of Vanity Fair, “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.”

As San Francisco Symphony’s 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence, Bullock curates and performs a range of diverse programs over the course of the season. First, with Music Director Designate Salonen, she sings Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé and Britten’s Les Illuminations– which is also the vehicle for her upcoming debuts with the Milwaukee and Indianapolis Symphonies, and Dublin’s RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. The San Francisco residency continues with a program at the experimental SoundBox performance space, and concludes with an expanded version of her recital program “History’s Persistent Voice,” which she debuted at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. This mixed-media concert of all-new commissioned music by American women of color aims to highlight the words, work and experiences of Black American artists, from traditional slave songs to poetry by those incarcerated. This new iteration of “History’s Persistent Voice” features four additional world premieres composed by award-winning composers Rhiannon Giddens, Camille Norment, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Pamela Z.



Beth Stewart