Lera Auerbach, the Russian-American composer, poet, writer, visual artist and concert pianist who performs regularly in major halls throughout the world, has published more than 100 works for orchestra, opera, and ballet, as well as choral and chamber music. Auerbach was born in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on the border of Siberia. As pianist and composer, she graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School in New York and received her post-graduate degree as a concert pianist from the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media in Germany.
Auerbach is equally prolific in literature and has published three books of poetry in Russian. Gérard Depardieu, Sergei Yursky, and Evgeny Kissin have been reciting her poems in performances; Sergei Yursky also recorded a poetry CD from her book, Stairs to Eternity, and has written the foreword for her Hanover Notebooks. Auerbach’s poetry and prose are included in various anthologies, as well as in the textbook of required reading for Russian high school literature classes. In 1996, the International Pushkin Society in New York named her Poet of the Year. In 1997, Doctor of philological sciences Vyacheslav Okeansky published a treatise on her poetry: “Concealment as the essence of the poetic word (Lunar Mysteria in the Poetry of Lera Auerbach). She is the author of several librettos and is a regular contributor to the Best American Poetry blog. In her first English-language book, Excess of Being, published by Arch Street Press in 2015, she revitalizes the form of aphorisms. Her writing is provocative, dark, ironic and humorous, perceptively dealing with life’s kaleidoscopic questions.