Jewish Music & Poetry Project

Poets & Musicians

Elena Ruehr, composer


Elena Ruehr's work has been described as "sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies" (New York Times) and "unspeakably gorgeous" (Gramaphone).  Her five string quarters have been performed by the Biava, Borromeo, Cypress, Lark, ROCO, and Shanghai string quarters, and her CD, How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr was recorded by the Cypress String Quartet.  Her other recordings include a collection of chamber music, Jane Wong Considers the Dragonfly (Albany), and her string orchestra piece, Shimmer (Albany).  For five years she was composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed her major orchestral works, as well as premiering and recording her opera Toussain Before the Spirits (Arsis).  A CD featuring her complete works for chorus and orchestra, Averno, will be released in September 2012 (Avie).  SHe has become known for her vocal writing based on works of living writers, includnig Elizabeth Alexander, Louise Glueck, Laura Harrington, Marta Rainer, Madison Smart Bell and Elizabeth Spires.  Dr. Ruehr was a student of William Bolcom at the Universty of Michigan and Vincent Persichetti and Bernard Rands at The Julliard School.  Dr. Ruehr has taught at MIT since 1991 and lives in Boston with her husband and daughter.