An award winning faculty member at MIT, Elena Ruehr has also been a fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed her major orchestral works as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis Records). Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recorded How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr. Her quartets have also been performed by the Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. Her other recordings include Averno (Avie Records with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (various artists on Albany) and Shimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany).
Dr. Ruehr was a student of William Bolcom at the University of Michigan, and Vincent Persichetti and Bernard Rands at The Juilliard School. Her oeuvre includes compositions for chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus, wind ensemble, instrumental solo, opera, dance and silent film. Her work has been described as "sumptuously scored and full of soaring melodies" (New York Times), and "unspeakably gorgeous" (Gramophone). Dr. Ruehr has taught at MIT since 1991 and lives in Boston.