Felipe Lara

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Felipe Lara (b. 1979, São Paulo, Brazil) has been described by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist." His works have been recently performed worldwide by such groups as the Arditti Quartet, Asasello Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Duo Diorama, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Recherche, Ex Novo Ensemble, Ilan Volkov, International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, London Sinfonietta (Nancarrow: Impossible Brilliance), Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Hilversum, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Peter Eötvös, Steven Schick, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.
His compositions has been presented at Acanthes (France), Acht Brücken Festival (Kölner Philharmonie), Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK), Ars Musica (Belgium), The Art Institute of Chicago, Aspekte Festival (Austria), Asphalt Festival (Germany), Budapest Music Center (Hungary), Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts (New York), Darmstadt (Germany), Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), Europalia (Belgium), Festival for Contemporary Music (Tanglewood), Festival Música Nova (Brazil), Fromm Players at Harvard (Voces de America Latina), Huddersfield (UK), King’s Place (London), Luxembourg Philharmonie, Mostly Mozart Festival (Lincoln Center, New York), New York Philharmonic Biennial, Philharmonie de Paris 2, Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), Roulette (Brooklyn), Sala Cecília Meireles (Brazil), Teatro Amazonas (Brazil), and Teatro La Fenice (Italy).

His second string quartet Tran(slate) was the winner of the 2008 Staubach Preis in Darmstadt, following the premiere performance by the Arditti Quartet with live electronics by Experimentalstudio SWR Freiburg. In 2012 and 2014 the International Contemporary Ensemble toured Brazil presenting Lara's chamber music, and flutist Claire Chase premiered two commissioned works as part of her Density 2036 project, at The Kitchen, New York. This year, Lara completed Vocalise 2, for two vocalizing amplified saxophonists, commissioned by Ogni Suono and New Music USA, and Fringes, a large-scale (twenty-five minutes) work for spatialized large ensemble (twenty-two instrumentalists), commissioned by the Ensemble InterContemporain, which was premiered at La Philharmonie de Paris 2, in February. The American premiere of Fringes was presented at the New York Philharmonic Biennial, in June 2016.

Current projects include a feature-film score for a Brazilian adaptation of Henry James’s novella The Beast in the Jungle, directed by Paulo Betti, an evening-long cycle for saxophones (sopranino to baritone), electronics, and ensemble for Ryan Muncy, and a large scale work for Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), supported by a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, Library of Congress.
Lara has received awards and fellowships from Andrew Mellon Foundation, Centre Acanthes, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, ExperimentalStudio SWR, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, Funarte (Brazilian Cultural Ministry), Sacatar Foundation, and was recently a finalist for the Rolex Mentor Protégé Award. Lara holds a PhD in Music Composition from New York University and was a 2015 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, at Harvard University. He is currently a lecturer at Harvard's Department of Music.

Featured Pieces

Ordered by year. Most recent works appears first

Ensemble (10 - 19 instruments)


Brutal Mirrors for large ensemble (2018)

Solo Instrument


Injust Intonations (#BlackLivesMatter) for solo piano (2016)
Meditation and Calligraphy for solo amplified bass flute (2014)
Parábolas na caverna for solo amplified flute (2014)

Chamber Group ( 2 - 4 instruments )


Vocalise II for amplified alto and tenor saxophonists (2015)
Som(bra) for amplified alto and bass flutes (2013)
Postcard for spatialized violin and clarinet (2009)
Prisma for violin and piano (2008)
Tran(slate) for string quartet (2008)
Vocalise for two vocalizing bass clarinetists (2007)
Corde Vocale for string quartet (2005)
Livro dos Sonhos for clarinet and piano (2004)

Soloist (Instrument or Voice) and Real Time Electronics


Metafagote for solo amplified bassoon and six pre-recorded bassoons (2015)

Large Ensemble (20 - 35 instruments)


Fringes for large ensemble (2015)

Instrument and Electronics


Metafagote for solo amplified bassoon and six pre-recorded bassoons (2015)
Archi Elastici for string quintet (2014)
Ventos Uivantes for amplified ensemble (2014)
Tiento for nine instruments (2013)
Tutti for ensemble (2005)

Orchestral Music


Memoria(i)mobile for orchestra (2010)
Onda for orchestra (2005)

String Quartet


Tran(slate) for string quartet (2008)
Corde Vocale for string quartet (2005)
Archi Elastici for string quintet (2014)
Brutal Mirrors for large ensemble (2018)
Corde Vocale for string quartet (2005)
Fringes for large ensemble (2015)
Injust Intonations (#BlackLivesMatter) for solo piano (2016)
Livro dos Sonhos for clarinet and piano (2004)
Meditation and Calligraphy for solo amplified bass flute (2014)
Memoria(i)mobile for orchestra (2010)
Metafagote for solo amplified bassoon and six pre-recorded bassoons (2015)
Onda for orchestra (2005)
Parábolas na caverna for solo amplified flute (2014)
Postcard for spatialized violin and clarinet (2009)
Prisma for violin and piano (2008)
Som(bra) for amplified alto and bass flutes (2013)
Tiento for nine instruments (2013)
Tran(slate) for string quartet (2008)
Tutti for ensemble (2005)
Ventos Uivantes for amplified ensemble (2014)
Vocalise for two vocalizing bass clarinetists (2007)
Vocalise II for amplified alto and tenor saxophonists (2015)