Introducing Lera Auerbach
1st November 2006
At age 33, Auerbach is a cultural triple-threat an accomplished composer, pianist, and poet. Described as a passionate and versatile musician, Auerbach has a compositional voice that is communicative, imaginative, and engaging. Often called neo-Romantic (with a 21st-century sensibility) and polystylistic (à la Alfred Schnittke), her music draws both performer and listener into her sound world.
Born in Chelyabinsk (a city near Siberia), Auerbach began piano studies at an early age, and, at 12, she composed her first opera which toured throughout the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Auerbach was invited to perform in the US, during which time she became one of the last Soviet artists to defect and remain in America. Auerbach received undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied piano and composition. Her teachers included Einar Steen-Nokleberg, Joseph Kalichstein, Nina Svetlanova, and Milton Babbitt and Robert Beaser in composition. She also studied literature and poetry at Columbia University, as evidenced by her integral and intimate text-setting sensibilities. With over 50 works in her growing catalogue, Auerbach's music is published by Sikorski Music Publishers in Hamburg, Germany.
Lera Auerbach is one of the most gifted artists I ever met. Her strong talent which is evident in so many fields performing, composing, writing is nurtured by a deep respect towards the past, but still allows her creations to remain sincere and personal, while being innovative and adventurous.
This month, Auerbach's Symphony No. 1 receives its world premiere by the Düsseldorf Symphony, conducted by John Fiore. Here in the US, the Louisiana Philharmonic showcases her Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Philippe Quint (for whom the work was written), and the Tokyo String Quartet performs String Quartet No. 2, "Primera luz" in New York. Next month, the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart (led by Andrey Boreyko) offers the world premiere of her Double Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Orchestra, with soloists Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe.Auerbach is also a writer noted for her poetry ("1996 Poet of the Year" by the International Pushkin Society), prose, novels, and numerous contributions to Russian-language newspapers and journals. She is among the first recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans (1998).