Elena Ruehr

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. Called “a composer to watch” by Opera News, Ruehr won an Opera America grant to write her opera “Crafting the Bonds”. She also received a Guggenheim award to compose her opera Cassandra in the Temples for the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Her acclaimed opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis Records, 2005) was called “an illuminating historical musical fantasy” by Opera News. The Boston Globe said Toussaint “had the audience on its feet, cheering, whistling, and applauding…combines a lyrical outpouring energized by motor rhythms that never become mechanical…compelling, emotional, theatrical.” She is also well known for her vocal works in the Cantata form. Gramophone magazine called her cantata Averno “a marvel of delicacy”. Her cantata Eve was reviewed by the Boston Globe as “ a reflective fable… unusually, effectively clement.” An award-winning faculty member at MIT since 1992, she has been a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, and was the first composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) from 2000-2005, where the orchestra premiered her pieces Shimmer, Sky Above Clouds, Ladder to the Moon, as well as Toussaint Before the Spirits in collaboration with Opera Boston. Her six string quartets have been championed by the Cypress, Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets, among others. Her recordings include Elena Ruehr: Six String Quartets (Cypress String Quartet and the Borromeo Quartet with Stephen Salters, 2018), O’Keeffe Images (BMOP Sound, 2015), Lift (Avie Records, 2015), Averno (Avie Records, Trinity Choir, 2012), Jane Wang considers the dragonfly (Albany, various artists, 2009), and Toussaint Before the Spirits (BMOP Sound, 2005).

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Opera BostonToussaint Before the Spirits6/6/2003 - 6/10/2003

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