An award winning faculty member at MIT, Elena Ruehr has also been a fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed her major orchestral works as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis Records). Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recorded How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr. Her quartets have also been performed by the Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. Her other recordings include Averno (Avie Records with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (various artists on Albany) and Shimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany).

Dr. Ruehr was a student of William Bolcom at the University of Michigan, and Vincent Persichetti and Bernard Rands at The Juilliard School. Her oeuvre includes compositions for chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus, wind ensemble, instrumental solo, opera, dance and silent film. Her work has been described as "sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies" (New York Times), and "unspeakably gorgeous" (Gramophone). Dr. Ruehr has taught at MIT since 1991 and lives in Boston.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 17, 2014
Moonshine Room at Club Café | May 19, 2009
Moonshine Room at Club Café | March 15, 2005
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | February 18, 2005
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 21, 2004
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | March 7, 2003

News and Press

[Concert Review] New England's Prospect: Three World Premieres in Wildly Disparate Styles

It has become commonplace to bash the symphony orchestra. All together now: it’s impractical, old-fashioned, a relic, a museum, a bastion of canonic conservatism, a hangover from long-gone eras and aesthetics. We know the drill.

NewMusicBox Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP at its cutting-edge best

The “modern” in Boston Modern Orchestra Project varies in its meaning. Sometimes it refers broadly to music of the past several decades, such as its recent revivals of operas by Virgil Thomson and Michael Tippett. On Friday at Jordan Hall, though, its focus was on the other sense of the word: what’s happening right now. On the bill were three world premieres, all commissions from composers with local connections and associations with BMOP. This was, to my mind, the group at its vital, cutting-edge best.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] Varied minimalism works are played to maximum effect

“The greatest virtue of Friday’s “Minimalism” concert by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project was to raise the question of whether the minimalism tag has outlived its relevance. Each of the four works the orchestra presented - three by minimalism’s leading lights and one by BMOP’s composer-in-residence, Elena Ruehr - adopted some conventions of the minimalist aesthetic, but each took them in such different directions that it’s doubtful the label is now anything more than a convenient, generic shorthand. . .

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP soars through graceful season finale

“A dazzling world premiere by Evan Ziporyn and the appearance of not one but two celebrated guest soloists distinguished the final concert of this year’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project season at Jordan Hall on Friday.

Renowned “new music” pianist Ursula Oppens applied her unfailingly insightful curiosity and sublime graciousness of touch to Augusta Read Thomas’s 2000 intermittently appealing Aurora. And master clarinetist Richard Stoltzman’s playing impressed as usual in Stephen Hartke’s 2001 Clarinet Concerto....

The Boston Globe Full review