Described as “shimmering” (The New York Times), “ethereal” (The Society for New Music), and “lustrous” (San Francisco Classical Voice), the music of Eleanor Aversa has been honored with national awards such as the Northridge Composition Prize (Hero’s Welcome for orchestra) and fellowships from the The MacDowell Colony, the I-Park Foundation, and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Other honors include the Brian M. Israel Prize from the New York Federation of Music Clubs (Movement for String Quartet), as well as awards and grants from ASCAP, The Queens Council on the Arts, and The American Composers Forum. She was the 2013 Composer-Not-in-Residence for San Francisco Choral Artists.
Often spiritual, humorous, or thought-provoking, Eleanor’s work has been performed across the United States, including venues such as The Boston Conservatory, The Bowdoin International Music Festival, June in Buffalo, Symphony Space, and Tanglewood. Her electroacoustic works have been presented at Ball State University, California State University at Fullerton, The Disjecta Interdisciplinary Arts Center, and The Música Viva Festival of Portugal.
A major musical influence has been the Russian tradition. After earning a degree in Russian Language and Literature from Princeton, Eleanor lived in the Moscow area from 2002 to 2004, working as an English teacher and translator. She also immersed herself in the local musical life, accompanying harpist Simeon Kulkov at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and singing in the choir of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, performing both Latin and Russian Orthodox sacred music. From these involvements, her work absorbed elements of folk melody, quasi-modal harmony, and asymmetrical meter.
Eleanor’s music has been performed by Amanda Baker of the Janus Trio, clarinetist Jean Kopperud, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, neoLIT, Network for New Music, Second Instrumental Unit, and the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco. Eleanor holds a master’s degree in composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.