Fiddler, composer and storyteller Max Wolpert conjures up monsters and myth where the traditional, classical and theatrical meet.
Drawing from tradition both musical and mythological, Wolpert makes music inspired by stories from around the world. Whether built upon the verve and bounce of an Irish jig, the endearing asymmetry of a Welsh pipe tune, or the drive of a Virginian breakdown, Wolpert’s pieces are crafted with taut detail and a flair for the dramatic honed over years as a pit musician, conductor and orchestrator for theatrical productions.
Wolpert first viola concerto, “Giants,” wields the unsung hero of the orchestra to call up singing harps, dancing storm clouds and a fiendishly ticking clock inexorably counting down to the end of the world. His three string quartets—“Myths,” “Lid un Tantsn” and “Song of Four”—serve as pedagogical tools to introduce the classical musician to traditional forms and improvisation, and in performance bring forth an Irish war goddess, two enchanted ravens, a young girl with dreams of piracy and a ferociously contrapuntal chase through a twisting labyrinth.
Wolpert is committed to bringing together performers of diverse stylistic backgrounds and to colliding musical worlds at high speed. His collaborators include dance company Pilobolus, banjoist and instigator Jayme Stone, Grammy-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, fearless violist Brett Deubner and Native flute specialist Leon Joseph Littlebird. His work has been performed by the Colorado Symphony, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Musique sur la Mer Chamber Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, the American Repertory Theater, the International Music Festival of Gramado, Brazil, and the Minster in York, England.
Wolpert earned doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music. His work appears on Naxos Records and Yellow Sound Label.