Wild Up

Edit Content

Wild Up began in 2010 as the self-funded project of Artistic Director Christopher Rountree. After graduate school, Rountree returned to Los Angeles to create an ensemble made up of young musicians that would reject classical music’s most outdated traditions and embrace unusual venues and programs that throw the classical repertoire into the context of pop culture, new music and performance art. The group’s first few concerts at art studios and rock clubs around L.A. created a fanbase of true believers. When UCLA’s Hammer Museum tapped Wild Up as the museum’s first-ever orchestra in residence, the group played dozens of concerts in the Hammer’s halls, courtyards, galleries and bathrooms, and The Los Angeles Times proclaimed Wild Up the best classical music of the year. From there it was off to the races, as Wild Up began collaborating with musical and cultural institutions around the world.

Called “…a raucous, grungy, irresistibly exuberant…fun-loving, exceptionally virtuosic family” by Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times, Wild Up has been lauded as one of classical music’s most exciting groups by virtually every significant institution and critic within earshot. This year, Wild Up premieres new pieces by Julianna Barwick and Andrew Greenwald; unveils an evening-length program with Ted Hearne about religion, space and the internet called “of Ascension”; makes their debut on the Ecstatic Music Festival with new work by William Brittelle and Zola Jesus; plays a live radio show at the ACE Hotel with Nadia Sirota, Andrew Norman, and Caroline Shaw; goes on a second U.S. tour with residencies in Salt Lake City, Chapel Hill, and Sonoma; joins Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Four Larks for a show where the audience doesn’t wear shoes in downtown L.A.; plays a new program called “Eve” with Martha Graham Dance Company; brings the West Coast premieres of Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Bliss” to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Bill Morrison and Alex Somers’ “Dawson City: Frozen Time” to Royce Hall; gives a portrait of Julius Eastman at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and teaches classes around the intersection of mindfulness, social practice and empathy in Virginia.

Past notable performances are many. The group accompanied Björk at Goldenvoice’s FYF Fest; premiered David Lang and Mark Dion’s “anatomy theater” at LA Opera; played the scores to “Under the Skin” by Mica Levi and “Punch Drunk Love” by Jon Brion at the Regent Theater and Ace Hotel; premiered a new opera of Julia Holter’s at National Sawdust; premiered a new work of avant-pop icon Scott Walker at Walt Disney Concert Hall; played a noise concert as a fanfare for the groundbreaking of Frank Gehry’s new building on Grand Avenue and First Street in downtown L.A.; and has been lavished with praise by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, public radio’s Performance Today and many, many more publications and critics.

The first record in their Eastman anthology Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine has been lauded as “A masterpiece.” (New York Times) “instantly recognizable” (Vogue) and “singularly jubilant..a bit in your face, sometimes capricious, and always surprising.” (NPR). NPR named the record among the top ten records of 2021 in all genres.


2023/2024 SEASON

Edit Content

Julius Eastman

Julius Eastman Anthology
There is something about the identity and presence of Eastman’s music that engages us and makes us obsessed. It’s music that, we’ve found, lives in the minds of audiences unlike anything else Wild Up has performed. With this Anthology we endeavor to discover the way to carry his music forward.

Julius Eastman: Femenine:
12 – 20 players, local chorus of untrained bell players *amplified or unamplified
The first record in Wild Up’s anthology Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine has been lauded as “A masterpiece.” (New York Times) “instantly recognizable” (Vogue) and “singularly jubilant..a bit in your face, sometimes capricious, and always surprising.” (NPR). NPR named the record among the top ten records of 2021 in all genres.

Julius Eastman: The Multiple Buddhas 8 – 12 players, collaborative residency
*amplified or unamplified
Eastman’s music is the type that challenges performers by increasing their individual agency for change, in each moment of performance. These quasi-improvisatory pieces increase the creativity in groups of performers, and they challenge the audience to be part of the work as well.

Julius Eastman: Gay Guerilla 8 Players
A chamber music portrait of Julius Eastman, including Eastman’s Gay Guerilla, Joy Boy, Macie, Budha, Touch Hium When and Our Father

“ To hear Wild Up's performance in a single sitting is nothing short of sheer bliss. "
– Tom Huizenga
Edit Content

Future Folk

As moderns, we stand on the shoulders of the ancients. Their music changes us. Compels us to make and unites us in being. A secular ritual where the audience is indoctrinated into a cult of love and joy, that the band is already part of. By the end of the show, the entire audience is invited onto the stage and we all try to end the world together. In Future Folk, we become one.
“ wild Up’s innovative approach to music reaches new heights here"

– The Soraya

Edit Content

Wild Up and Hélène Grimaud

Renaissance woman Hélène Grimaud is not just a deeply passionate and committed musical artist whose pianistic accomplishments play a central role in her life. She is a woman with multiple talents that extend far beyond the instrument she plays with such poetic expression and peerless technical control. The French artist has established herself as a committed wildlife conservationist, a compassionate human rights activist and as a writer.
2023/2024 Repertory Sheet

Wild Up offers a variety of programing options. 



Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine

Julius Eastman Vol. 2: Joy Boy

“A fiercely aggressive group, combining the power and punch of a rock band with the precision and clarity of a chamber ensemble.” – The New York Times

Current and recent project highlights include “In C”, a new dance collaboration with Sasha Waltz & Guests based on Terry Riley’s minimalist classic; Can Dance, a brand new multi-media concert pairing composers and choreographers; a new recording of legendary composer/performer Meredith Monk’s MEMORY GAME; Julia Wolfe’s Flower Power for Bang on a Can All-Stars and orchestra, a multi media concert exploring the sonic landscape of the late 1960s and more…


Julius Eastman Volume 2: Joy Boy

“The sadly long-forgotten composer gets his due in Wild Up’s newest recording of his work.”

- The Wall Street Journal

Julius Eastman Volume 2: Joy Boy

“What the group unearths on Julius Eastman, Vol. 2: Joy Boy is more than just music, it's a set of relations and modes of comporting in the world that risk trading fleeting, worldly praise to regain the eternal soul. ”



LA Times - Chris Roundtree

What Are You Wild UP?

Pieces That Fall To Earth (Christopher Cerrone, Wild Up)

Follow Us