With work described as “sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies” (The New York Times), and “unspeakably gorgeous” (Gramophone), American composer Elena Ruehr is known for her lyrical and rhythmically vibrant music.
Elena Ruehr says of her music “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” An award winning faculty member at MIT, she has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed and recorded her major orchestral works, O’Keeffe Images, as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (BMOP Sound) . Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recorded Six String Quartets by Elena Ruehr, also with the Borromeo Quartet and baritone Stephen Salters. Her quartets have also been performed by numerous ensembles, including the Arneis, Biava, Borromeo, Lark, Quartet Nouveau, Roco and Shanghai string quartets. Her other recordings include Averno (Avie with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting), O’Keefe Images (BMOP on BMOP SOUND), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (Albany), Lift (Avie), Shimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany) and Shadow Light (The New Orchestra of Washington with Marcus Thompson on Acis). Winner of the MIT Baker Undergraduate Teaching Award, Ruehr is a committed and enthusiastic teacher at MIT.