A renaissance artist for modern times, Lera Auerbach is a widely-acclaimed conductor, pianist, and composer. She is also a published poet and an exhibited visual artist. All of her work is interconnected as part of a cohesive and comprehensive artistic worldview.
Born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Lera Auerbach has become one of today’s most sought-after and exciting creative voices. Her performances and music are featured in the world’s leading stages – from Wiener Musikverein and Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Auerbach’s intelligent, emotional, and boldly-imaginative music reaches to all in the global audience. Orchestral collaborations include the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, and ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester, among many others. Auerbach’s works for orchestra are performed by the world’s leading conductors, including Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Alan Gilbert, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Hannu Lintu, Andris Nelsons, Osmo Vänskä, to mention only a few.
Her large-scale theater works have been produced in major venues on every continent, including Theater an der Wien, the Hamburg State Opera, Lincoln Center, the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, the Royal Danish Theater, the Nuremberg State Theater, the Finnish National Theater, the Stanislavsky in Moscow, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the NHK Hall in Tokyo.
Recent season highlights included WienModern’s 3.5-hour production of Demons & Angels with Auerbach as conductor; D.C.’s National Symphony premiered her 4th Symphony “Arctica” with Auerbach as piano soloist – a work commissioned by National Geographic Society; her 4th Violin Concerto "NYx: Fractured Dreams" was commissioned and premiered by New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert and Leonidas Kavakos; and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra premiered her symphonic poem "Eve’s Lament" with Marin Alsop. Most recently, her String Quartet No. 9 “Danksagung” was premiered by the Artemis Quartet as a commission of Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall, and Tonhalle Zürich.
Her music is championed and recorded by today’s most prominent classical performers including violinists Daniel Hope, Gidon Kremer, Hilary Hahn, Julian Rachlin, Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Repin, Vadim Gluzman; cellists Alisa Weilerstein, Gautier Capuçon, David Finckel, Alban Gerhardt; violists Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power, Nobuko Imai; and many others.
In 2007 Lera Auerbach was selected by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as a Young Global Leader and in 2014 as a Cultural Leader. Her catalog of compositions is published by Sikorski and Boosey & Hawkes, and recordings are available on Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, Alpha Classics, BIS, Cedille, and many other labels.
Auerbach is equally prolific in literature and the visual arts. She incorporates these forms into her professional creative process, often simultaneously expressing ideas visually, in words, and through music. She has published three books of poetry in Russian, as well as her first English-language book, Excess of Being – in which she explores the rare form of aphorisms. In 2021 Penguin Random House will publish a new collection of poems for children “A is for Oboe” – a collaboration between poets Lera Auerbach and Marilyn Nelson. Auerbach has been drawing and painting all her life as part of her creative process. Her visual art is exhibited regularly and represented by leading galleries.
"Best New Symphonic Work 2019
Few composers get the chance to premiere a full-length new work featuring both full orchestra and chorus anymore. Lera Auerbach, one of the more intriguing voices writing today, did just that with her massive piece ARCTICA. Based on an Inuit text she wrote herself, it featured the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Chorus, and the composer as a spirit guide on the solo piano part."
Charles T. Downey, WASHINGTON CLASSICAL REVIEW
"Music of extraordinary power and intensity."
Alex Ross, THE NEW YORKER
"Those fearful of contemporary music may think of it as dry, cerebral, atonal and scary. Lera Auerbach, a Russian-born composer, delivers lots of fire and passion in music. She offers 18th-century forms and a 19th-century sensibility (that of the brilliant virtuoso) expressed in a 21st-century vocabulary."
Anne Midgette, WASHINGTON POST
"Auerbach is a Renaissance woman, excelling as pianist, composer, artist and poet. Her texts have a universal dimension, rejecting religious dogma in favor of global spirituality.”
"Auerbach stands in the Russian tradition of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, later Schnittke and Gubaidulina, with her experience living in the United States helping to create an international voice. The conservatism of her music coupled with a strong degree of imagination and a widely appreciated melodic gift have attracted the attention of many leading performers."