Julia Wolfe's 'Anthracite Fields,' which examines coal-mining life, wins Pulitzer for music

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NEW YORK — Julia Wolfe's "Anthracite Fields" has won the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Judges describe Wolfe's work as a "powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century."

The other finalists in the category were Lei Liang for "Xiaoxiang" and John Zorn for "The Aristos."

Wolfe grew up in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania.

She describes herself as a musical renegade, with inspirations that come from folks, classical and rock. She says she hopes the award can inspire other musicians to follow dreams that take unconventional paths.

"Anthracite Fields" premiered nearly a year ago in Philadelphia. It was performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Mendelssohn Club Chorus, a Philadelphia choral group.

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