Felipe Lara (b.1979) is hailed as a gifted Brazilian-American modernist by the New York Times, with his works being described as sensational, exuberant, vivid, brilliantly realized, excellent, technically formidable, wildly varied, and possessing voluptuous, elemental lyricism. He is known for creating unique musical contexts by reinterpreting and translating acoustical and extra-musical properties of familiar source sonorities into project-specific forces. His compositions aim to establish self-similar relationships between the macro and micro-articulation of the musical experience.
Lara has garnered numerous commissions from prestigious soloists, ensembles, and institutions, including the Arditti Quartet (with ExperimentalStudio Freiburg SWR), Brentano Quartet, Claire Chase, Conrad Tao, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Modern, Helsinki Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, loadbang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, São Paulo Symphony, and Talea Ensemble. His works have been performed by acclaimed musicians and orchestras like the Ensemble Recherche, esperanza spalding, JACK Quartet, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Hilversum, New York Philharmonic, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and conductors David Fulmer, Dirk Kaftan, Ilan Volkov, James Baker, Peter Eötvös, Neil Thomson, Susanna Mälkki, Steven Schick, Thomas Adès, and Vimbayi Kaziboni.
His compositions have been featured in prestigious venues and festivals worldwide, including the Aspen Music Festival, Centre Acanthes, Acht Brücken, Aldeburgh Music Festival, Ars Musica, The Art Institute of Chicago, Aspekte Salzburg Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Berliner Festspiele’s MaerzMusik, Budapest Music Center, Burning Man, Centre Acanthes, Carnegie Hall, Darmstadt, David Geffen Hall, Domaine Forget, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Europalia, Festival de Cinema de Gramado, Fromm Players at Harvard, Heidelberger Frühling, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, June-in-Buffalo, King’s Place, The Kitchen, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Miller Theatre Composer Portraits, Musikfest Frankfurt, New York Philharmonic Biennial, Philharmonie de Paris, Philip Glass Days and Nights Festival, Phillips Collection, Roulette, Sala São Paulo, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tanglewood, Teatro Amazonas, Teatro La Fenice, TimeSpans Festival, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Lara’s accomplishments include a 2015 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship from Harvard University. He has received several prestigious honors, such as the Nexus (2023) and Catalyst (2021) Awards from Johns Hopkins University, Prêmio Concerto (São Paulo, 2021), New Jersey Council for the Arts Fellowship (2020), an invitational fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (2014), composition prize from Funarte (Brazilian Ministry of Culture, 2014), Master Artist Award from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (2013), and the Staubach Prize (Darmstadt, 2008). He has also been commissioned by the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung (2022), Chamber Music America (2021), Koussevitzky Music Foundation at Library of Congress (2016), and Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2011). In 2014, he was a finalist for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.