One of the most widely performed composers of the new generation, Lera Auerbach is the youngest composer on the roster of Hamburg’s prestigious international music publishing company Hans Sikorski, home to Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Kancheli. A virtuoso performer, Lera Auerbach continues the great tradition of pianist-composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Auerbach's music is characterized by its stylistic freedom and juxtaposition of tonal and atonal musical language.
Lera Auerbach was born in October, 1973 in Chelyabinsk, a city in the Urals bordering Siberia. Since 1991 she has made New York City her permanent residence, while Hamburg remains her European home. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano and music composition from The Juilliard School. She went on to study at and graduated from the prestigious piano soloist program of the Hannover Hochschule für Musik.
Lera Auerbach's work as a composer and pianist is regularly featured in the leading halls around the world including Washington's Kennedy Center, the Bolshoi Theater and Bolshoi Saal of Moscow Conservatory, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Opera City and NHK Hall, Munich's Herkulessaal, Oslo's Konzerthaus, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, Bonn’s Beethovenhalle, Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Theatre, Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Dresden’s Kulturpalast, Shanghai’s Oriental Art Center, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and Concertgebouw, Jerusalem’s Centre for the Performing Arts, Düsseldorf’s Tonhalle, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle and Staatsoper, Hannover’s Landesfunkhaus, Prague’s Filharmonie Hradec Králové, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Edinburgh’s Queens Hall, amongst countless others.
Auerbach's recently completed compositions include: Symphony No. 1 "Chimera", which was commissioned and premiered by the Düsseldorf Symphony; Symphony No. 2 "Requiem for a Poet", a work commissioned and premiered by Hannover's NDR Philharmonic and Choir; A Russian Requiem for mixed choir, large orchestra, boys’ choir, boy soprano, mezzo-soprano and bass, co-commissioned by Musikfest Bremen, Philharmonische Gesellschaft Bremen and Semana de Musica Religiosa Cuenca and premiered by the Bremen Philharmonic with the Latvian National Choir and the Estonian Opera Boys Choir. Her ballet Die Kleine Meerjungfrau, commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet and the Hamburg State Ballet and choreographed by John Neumeier, will receive its American premiere in 2010 by the San Francisco Ballet. She is currently writing a full length opera based on her original play “Gogol” for Vienna’s historic Theater an der Wien for premiere in 2011.
Lera Auerbach's commissions include ballets, operas, symphonies, concertos, string quartets and a number of other chamber and solo music works by organizations as varied as the SWR Radio Philharmonic, Hamburg State Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Cologne Philharmonie, Music Accord, Norddeutschen Rudfunk, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Bonn’s Beethoven International Competition (required composition for pianists), ARD International Music Competition (required composition for pianists), Verbier International Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Lucerne Music Festival, Lockenhaus Music Festival, Musikfest Bremen, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Les Muséiques Festival in Basel and the Aspen Music Festival.
Active performers of Lera Auerbach’s compositions include: the Tokyo String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, Aviv String Quartet, Petersen String Quartet, Artemis String Quartet, Parker String Quartet, Granados String Quartet; violinists Gidon Kremer, Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Gluzman, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Isabelle van Keulen and Philippe Quint; Cellists Alisa Weilerstein, Claudio Bohorquez, David Finckel, Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Ani Aznavoorian and Wendy Warner; conductors Andrey Boreyko, Andris Nelsons, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Eiji Oue, Tonu Kalujste, Markus Poschner, Klauspeter Seibel, Christopher Poppen, Jonathan Nott, Timothy Russel and Hiroyuki Iwaki. Also orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Bamberger Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonie, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Louisiana Philharmonic, Bremen Philharmonic, Düsseldorf Symphony, Radio-Symphony Orchestra SWR Stuttgart, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra presented her work.
Ms. Auerbach has been Artist-in-Residence with Deutschelandfunk (German National Radio), Composer-in-Residence at the Bremen Music Festival, Composer-in-Residence at the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Composer-in-Residence at the Lockenhaus Music Festival in Austria, Composer-in-Residence at Les Muséiques Festival in Basel, Composer-in-Residence with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanasawa in Japan and Artist-in-Residence with the International Johannes Brahms Foundation in Baden-Baden. In 2011 she will be composer-in-residence with the world famous Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra and the Semper Opera of Dresden.
She was awarded the prestigious Hindemith Prize by the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Deutschelandfunk’s Förderpreis, selected as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and in 2007 she was selected as a member of the Young Global Leaders forum by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Auerbach’s acclaim is attributed not only to her musical activities but also to her writing. She was named Poet-of-the-Year by the International Pushkin Society. Her literary works include five published volumes of poetry and prose. Her poetry is taught in schools and universities in Russia as part of the required reading for modern literature courses. She has recently completed her first stage-play.