Sketches of Vienna

Katherine McLin, violin
Lera Auerbach, piano & composer
David Danzmayr, conductor


Composer, pianist, poet, and visual artist Lera Auerbach is one of today’s most sought after and exciting creative voices. Auerbach’s intelligent and boldly imaginative music has connected her to audiences on every continent through performances by today’s leading performers, conductors, choreographers, choirs, chamber music ensembles, and theaters, including the Theatre an der Wein, New York’s Lincoln Center, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony in Washington, D.C., Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow, Hamburg Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Netherlands Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of China; choreographers John Neumeier, Aszure Barton, Goyo Montero, Terence Kohler, Sol León, Paul Lightfoot, Tim Plegge and Medhi Walerski; violinists Gidon Kremer, Leonidas Kavakos, Daniel Hope, Hilary Hahn, Vadim Gluzman, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Dmitry Sitkovetsky; violist Kim Kashkashian; cellists Alisa Weilerstein, Gautier Capuçon, Alban Gerhardt, David Finckel, Joshua Roman, Clive Greensmith, David Geringas, Ani Aznavoorian, Wendy Warner, and Narek Hakhnazaryan; the Artemis, Borromeo, Tokyo, and Ying string quartets, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Her orchestral works have been brought to life by Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Andris Nelsons, Vladimir Jurowski, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Edward Gardner, Alan Gilbert, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Spivakov, Osmo Vänskä, Andrey Boreyko, and many others.

Auerbach has served as Composer-in-Residence of the Rheingau Musik Festival, Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Staatskapelle Dresden, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Norway’s Trondheim Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Banff Centre in Canada, the Pacific Music Festival, Japan, Les Musicales Festival in France, and West Cork Festival in Ireland.

Recent premieres include Violin Concerto No. 4, “NYx: Fractured Dreams”, commissioned for violinist Leonidas Kavakos by the New York Philharmonic; “The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie,” commissioned for violinist Vadim Gluzman by the Bergen Philharmonic, the BBC Proms, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Violin Concerto No. 3, “De Profundis”, commissioned for violinist Vadim Repin by the Trans-Siberian Art Festival; and “72 Angels”, premiered by the Nederlands Kamerkoor and Raschèr Saxophone Quartet; and “The Blind,” Auerbach’s immersive multi-sensory acapella opera, premiered at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York.

Auerbach is equally prolific in literature and the visual arts and incorporates these forms into her professional creative process, simultaneously expressing ideas visually, in words, and through music. This past March, the Gallery Shchukin in New York City presented an exhibition devoted to Auerbach’s recent sculptures in bronze. She has published three books of poetry in Russian and her first English-language book, “Excess of Being” – in which she explores the difficult form of the aphorism – was published by Arch Street Press in 2015. Auerbach was named Poet of the Year in 1996 by the International Pushkin Society in New York, and her poetry and prose has been included in various anthologies and high school textbooks. She is the author of several librettos and is a regular contributor to the Best American Poetry blog through her column, The Trouble Clef.

The ECM label recently released Arcanam, a new CD which features violist Kim Kashkashian and Lera Auerbach performing Auerbach’s viola and piano version of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes op. 34, and Auerbach’s own Sonata for viola and piano, “Arcanum.” Other recordings of Ms. Auerbach’s music are available on Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, BIS, Cedille and other labels.

Ms. Auerbach was raised in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on the border of Siberia. She is an alumna of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degree in composition from the Juilliard School, and a post-graduate degree in piano from Hanover University. In 2007, Lera was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, where she now serves as a Cultural Leader.

Her compositions are published exclusively by the Internationale Musikverlage Hans Sikorski.