George Wolfe

George Wolfe with instrumentsARTIST STATEMENT

Art allows us to renew ourselves and to express our psychological awakening to the deeper meaning of life. It gives expression to the ineffable. It can bring people together to act for the good of another person, a community, or the entire world. I choose to use words and music for their transformative power, particularly where social injustice remains.

Much of my life has been devoted to my love of music, and it has enabled me to travel extensively, to perform, to share, to teach, and to learn.  It was an exploration of music in world cultures that led to my desire for greater spiritual awareness and a dedication to peace activism. Music for art's sake was not enough.  I needed to communicate a social justice message that would have an impact.

Swami Harshananda wrote in the foreword of my recent book, The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: "If wars are born in the minds of men, so is peace. The basis for peace lies in the deep-rooted conviction about the power of goodness."  That is, while nonviolence is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition for a peaceful life.  It is through universal love - a deep respect for life and for justice - that we derive the power to transform conflict, and turn the negative energy it generates into a positive force.


George Wolfe with bridal couple


As a writer, a lecturer, and an ordained interfaith minister, I examine and work to set up a dialogue on positive peace-building within various religious traditions by focusing on common teachings, values and symbols that are shared by the great world religions.

I am available for recitals, group discussions, lectures and classroom presentations. You can contact me by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through Facebook:  George Wolfe on Facebook.

    - George Wolfe


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  • The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War
    Religion and violence—the two concepts seem incompatible given the emphasis in religion on virtue, love, forgiveness and compassion. Yet many scriptures contain martial images and stories of god-inspired military conquest. The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence confronts this theological contradiction, arguing that martial images and symbols found in religious texts are often meant to be interpreted as metaphors for an inner spiritual struggle and should never be used as a justification for war.   [Explore the website created for this book here.]
    Verses Re Versus
    This new poetic form is constructed so that the second stanza of each poem            
    is the first stanza with the words arranged in reverse order.            
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  • Verses Re Versus: #5
    "Flags wave.
     We reason the war is over.
     Is night forgotten? Our
     loss, our celebration?
     Painful parades, our
     lessons unlearned.
                 * * * * *
    "Unlearned lessons?
     Our parade's painful
     celebration, our loss,
     our forgotten night is
     over! Is war the reason we
     wave flags?"
  • Verses Re Versus: #7
    "Eyes staring
     through darkened years,
     frail, with quivering lips,
     shatter memories
     frozen in wilted words.
                 * * * * *
    “Words wilted in frozen
     memories shatter
     lips quivering with frail
     years darkened through
     staring eyes.”
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    George Wolfe in Performance

    Tableaux de Provence by Paule Maurice, Mov't 4   (4:48)

    George Wolfe, alto saxophone; Holly Hanauer, piano. Live performance in Pruis Hall, Ball State University.


    George Wolfe in Performance

    Brilliance by Ida Gotkovsky, Mov't 3   (2:43)

    George Wolfe, alto saxophone, Robert Palmer, piano. Live performance in Pruis Hall, Ball State University.

 Listen to other musical performances featuring George Wolfe on his YouTube channel here.             




George Wolfe, a Ball State University professor emeritus of music, is an accomplished classical saxophonist with an extensive musical repertoire inspired by world cultures. He has performed concerts and has been heard on radio stations throughout the United States and abroad, and has appeared as a soloist with such ensembles as the The Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force, the World Band at Disney World, the Chautauqua Motet Choir, and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. 

Critics have praised his playing as "brilliant and moving." His recordings have won praise from Steven Ellis of Fanfare Magazine and jazz great David Baker. George Ruckert, MIT world music professor, has referred to George Wolfe as "a major musician of our time."

Dr. Wolfe is featured on eight volumes of the compact disk series, America's Millennium Tribute to Adolphe Sax, and on his two most recent CDs, Le Saxophone Melodieux and Le Saxophone Extrordinaire. In 1997, Ball State University awarded Dr. Wolfe its Outstanding Creative Endeavor award for his CD entitled Lifting the Veil.  

Also, Dr. Wolfe has presented master classes at the Paris Conservatory, Indiana University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he has taught as an artist-in-residence at Arizona State University, Klagenfurt Conservatory (Austria), the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), and at the University of San Jose in Costa Rica.

George Wolfe served as Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Ball State University with distinction, and he continues to play a major role there as Coordinator of Outreach Programs. As a peace educator, he frequently lectures both within and outside the United States on topics related to nonviolence, peace studies, academic freedom, and the role of the arts in social activism. Professor Wolfe also has been an active performer of protest music, and has given numerous performances of Martin Wesley Smith’s video-acoustic composition, Weapons of Mass Distortion, that was written as a reaction to the 2004 U.S.-led preemptive invasion of Iraq.