Felipe Lara

Class of

Felipe Lara BM ’02, the Brazilian-American composer praised by the New York Times and others for his brilliant modern music, rates collaboration with other musicians as the most important aspect of his work. A 2024 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his "Double Concerto for esperanza spalding, Claire Chase, and Large Orchestra," premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic, Lara's dedication to musical partnerships remains unwavering.

Born in Sao Paolo in 1979, Lara boasts a long list of collaborations, commissions, and awards. His compositions have been performed by esteemed ensembles such as the Arditti, Asasello, and Brentano quartets, the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, and the London Sinfonietta. His “Vocalise 2,” for two vocalizing amplified saxophonists, was premiered in Paris in 2016 with Ensemble Intercontemporain, and “Fringes,” his large-scale work for 22 instrumentalists, has graced stages across the globe.

Lara credits his Berklee years with opening him up to the wider world of music. He came to Berklee focused on jazz guitar and arranging, but, he says, “there I was pleasantly confronted by all styles, nationalities, and broad possibilities of the musical profession.” This allowed him to bridge “my jazz-popular music background with classical and contemporary composition.” He also holds a PhD from New York University in music composition, and taught at Boston Conservatory at Berklee from 2018 to 2020.

Currently serving as an associate professor at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Lara's influence extends beyond academia, shaping the next generation of composers.