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Composer In Residence

Composer Ruth Lomon was born in Montreal, Canada in 1930. Her prolific and distinguished composing career spans five decades, and includes not only composing, but private teaching, research, and active membership and service in a wide variety of professional associations and academic settings. She is currently Composer/Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, and Composer-in-Residence for Boston Secession.

Ruth Lomon’s new multilingual oratorio, Testimony of Witnesses
, is based on the writings of Holocaust victims and survivors. The concert-length work is scored for chorus, orchestra, and soloists. The texts — in Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Polish, English, and Yiddish — represent the personal experience of eighteen survivors and victims, including ten individual women and children, and reflect the international impact of the Holocaust and the variety of individuals and communities that were forever changed by it. Ms. Lomon received a grant from the Hadassah International Research Center (now the Hadassah Brandeis Institute) for the completion of Testimony of Witnesses.

As a composer, she has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships, including the Bunting/Harvard fellowship (1995-96) and a MacDowell/Norlin fellowship, and has over thirty commissions and artistic collaborations to her credit. Ms. Lomon has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Mexico Arts Division, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and the Yaddo foundation.

As a fellow of the Bunting Institute, Ms. Lomon composed Songs of Remembrance, a song cycle on poems of the Holocaust. This hour-length work was premiered at the John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Harvard University, and has since had numerous performances including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., the Bremerhaven Memorial Museum, Germany (Nov. ’07), and the IAWM Congress in London, UK (July '99). In 2001 she also received the Chicago Professional Musicians Award for the tenth song of the cycle, which is set for mezzo soprano, English horn and piano.

In 1997, Ms. Lomon was commissioned by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra to compose a trumpet concerto, Odyssey, for Charles Schlueter, then principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which was premiered in 1998 under the direction of Gisele Ben-Dor. Ms. Lomon’s Requiem for full chorus and soprano solo accompanied by brass and woodwinds was premiered in Boston in 1997 by Coro Allegro, David Hodgkins, conductor.

In addition to her career in composing and teaching, Ruth Lomon is a distinguished pianist. She made her piano debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1949, at the age of 18 while earning her Licentiate of Music at McGill University. Ruth concertized from 1971-1983 with the two-piano team Lomon and Wenglin in concerts of standard repertoire and specializing in the music of women composers. Ms. Lomon has performed her own works as a soloist internationally.

Ms. Lomon attended le Conservatoire de Quebec and McGill University. She continued her studies with Frances Judd Cooke at the New England Conservatory of Music and, later, with Witold Lutoslawski at Dartington College, England.


Learn more about Surprised by Beauty: Minimalism in Choral Music, the Boston Secession CD featuring Ruth Lomon's Transport.

Hear selections from Ruth Lomon's Testimony of Witnesses.

Read Ruth Lomon's letter about composing Testimony of Witnesses.
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