Felipe Lara

Felipe Lara headshot

Photo Credit: Rolex/Hugo Glendinning

General Info


Associate Professor of Composition

Personal Website


I aim to help my students reach the highest possible level of craftsmanship, without losing focus of the journey to discover their own musical voices. I always encourage them to develop their own styles and tools, while introducing them to a multitude of seminal composers and techniques.

Felipe Lara joined the Conservatory in 2017 and is an associate professor of composition.

Praised by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist" whose works are “brilliantly realized,” “technically formidable, wildly varied,” and possess “voluptuous, elemental lyrics,” Lara’s work—which includes orchestral, chamber, vocal, film, electroacoustic, and popular music—has been commissioned by leading soloists, ensembles, and institutions such as the Arditti Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Claire Chase, Conrad Tao, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Duo Diorama, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Modern, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and also performed by the Ensemble Recherche, Ilan Volkov, JACK Quartet, KNM Berlin, Mivos Quartet, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Peter Eötvös, Steven Schick, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

His compositions have been presented by Aspen Music Festival, Centre Acanthes (France), Acht Brücken Festival (Germany), Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK), Ars Musica (Belgium), Art Institute of Chicago, Aspekte Festival (Austria), Budapest Music Center, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, and Tanglewood’s Festival for Contemporary Music, to name a few.

Lara holds a B.M. in music composition and film scoring from Berklee College of Music, an M.M. in composition from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. from New York University. Lara was also a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Koussevitzky Foundation Commission, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (2016)
  • Finalist, Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, Lyon, France (2014)
  • National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Master Artist Award (2013)
  • Fromm Foundation Commission, Harvard University (2011)
  • Donaueschingen Musiktage (SWR Baden-Baden): commission of an orchestral work for the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Hilversum, conducted by Peter Eötvös (2008)
  • Staubach Prize Winner, Arditti Quartet, Experimentalstudio Freiburg SWR, International Music Institute Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany (2008)

Notable Recent Works

  • Fringes, spatialized large ensemble, commissioned Ensemble InterContemporain, Paris (2015)—Composer
  • Metafagote, for seven bassoons, commissioned by New Music USA and ICElab, for Rebekah Heller (2014)—Composer
  • Parábolas na Caverna, for solo amplified flute, commissioned by Claire Chase/Fromm Foundation at Harvard University (2013)—Composer
  • Memoria(i)mobile, for orchestra, commissioned by Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany for Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, cond. Peter Eötvös (2010)—Composer
  • Tran(slate), for string quartet and live electronics, commissioned by IMD/Arditti Quartet/ExperimentalStudio Freiburg, Darmstadt, Germany (2008)—Composer