Music Department


Elena Ruehr, Lecturer in Music, MM, The Juilliard School, DMA The University of Michigan. Elena Ruehr is a composer whose music has been called "unspeakably gorgeous" (Gramophone Magazine) "stunning" (Washington Examiner) "a rare gift" (The Boston Globe) "magical" (Audiophile Audition) and "elegant, top-shelf listening" (Classical Voice of New England) and she is a "composer to watch" (Opera New) who writes "music with heart and a forceful sense of character and expression" (The Washington Post). Available recordings of Dr. Ruehr's music include How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr (Cypress String Quartet), Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (Albany), and Shimmer (Albany). She was composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project from 2000-2005, and the orchestra premiered her pieces Shimmer, Sky Above Clouds and Ladder to the Moon, as well as her acclaimed opera Toussaint Before the Spirits. Advocates for her music include the Cypress String Quartet, the Borromeo String Quartet, the Shanghai String Quartet, and baritone Stephen Salters. She has collaborated with poets and novelists Elizabeth Alexander, Louise Gluck, Laura Harrington, Madison Smart Bell, and Elizabeth Spires. In 2008 she was a fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute, where she wrote her cantata based on Louise Gluck's Averno which will be premiered by the Washington Chorus on April 3, 2011.

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Elena Ruehr