Elena Ruehr's works are commissioned and performed internationally by musicians such as Cypress, the Borromeo and Shanghai String Quartets, Naumburg winning baritone Stephen Salters, and orchestras including the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and The Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble. Her dance opera Toussaint Before the Spirits opened to great critical acclaim as part of Boston's Opera Unlimited Festival in June 2003.
Dr. Ruehr studied at both the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School of Music. While a student, she won the ASCAP, New York Youth Symphony and Lincoln Center New Music Festival composition competitions, and her early orchestral works also received prizes from the Cincinnati Symphony, the Omaha Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. At the age of 28 she earned a position on the music faculty at MIT and she has taught there ever since. In 1995 she received MIT's Baker Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Her work Shimmer, for string orchestra, is available from Albany Records on their Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble CD.