Eli Lara

Eli Lara, cello
Assistant Professor, Cello
Esterhazy Quartet

DMA The Juilliard School

MM Yale School of Music

BA Yale University

257 Fine Arts Building
573-882-1137

Regarded for thoughtful interpretations, compelling execution, and depth of understanding, cellist Eli Lara has been praised for creating “a sense of complete awe.” As an ensemble and solo musician, Dr. Lara has performed across North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. Lara is a founding member of Trio Séléné with Mingzhe Wang and Ilya Poletaev; the trio’s recording of works for clarinet, cello, and piano by Fauré, Zemlinsky and Spanish composer Fernando Buide (commissioned by Séléné) was released in spring 2018 on the Summit label. Trio Séléné has performed at Yale, Columbia and Rutgers Universities, and this fall the Trio will perform at Michigan State University, the University of Missouri, and Oberlin.

Dedicated to promoting contemporary music, Lara has worked with many composers including Buide, Krzystof Penderecki, Caroline Shaw, Christopher Stark, and Julia Wolfe. She has performed and/or premiered new works in numerous concerts and festivals including at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Berklee College of Music, Mizzou International Composers Festival, MoxSonic, National Sawdust, and Summergarden at the New York Museum of Modern Art. 

Dr. Lara performed as co-principal of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, guest principal of the Paducah Symphony, and in the Nashville Opera Orchestra; while in the Nashville area, she also worked frequently as a studio recording musician. Highlights include recording with Willie Nelson as well as video games for Insomniac, Oculus Rift, and Electronic Arts including Madden 16. Dr. Lara has appeared on NPR, at major venues such as New York's Alice Tully Hall and London's Wigmore Hall and at festivals including Birdfoot, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota, Banff, Festival Pablo Casals (France), and Festival International de Música do Amazonas (Brazil).

In Fall 2016, Dr. Lara joined the University of Missouri School of Music faculty where she also performs with the Esterhazy String Quartet. She previously taught at Austin Peay State University. She graduated from Yale University with an undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and an M.M. in cello performance. A recipient of the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship, she completed her D.M.A. at The Juilliard School. Her primary teachers include Joel Krosnick, Aldo Parisot, Ole Akahoshi, and Stephen Kates. Awarded the Richard F. French Prize, Eli traveled to Prague and Vienna to study the string quartet manuscripts of Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff and was subsequently invited to present her research at an international conference at Arizona State University.