The Attraction of the Tortured Artist Myth

The Attraction of the Tortured Artist Myth

The idea that art stems from deep suffering is ingrained in Western European classical tradition. I share my thoughts on why this myth is attractive to society and to myself personally, as I was struggling to come to terms with my Anxiety Disorder. Belief in this myth ultimately did me more harm than good, and I discuss why I’ve let go of this romanticized, if not dangerous notion of the creative process.


Julia Adolphe’s music has been described as “alive with invention” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), “colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated” (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times) and a “mastery of dynamic as well as harmonic complexity” (Financial Times). Adolphe’s works are performed across the U.S. and abroad by renowned ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, James Conlon and the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, the Serafin String Quartet, Grammy-nominated pianist Aron Kallay, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, among others. Her awards include a 2016 Lincoln Center... Read more »


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