"You make people realize that there exist other beauties in the world."
One day at lunch I was surprised and delighted to find my artistic mission stated so succinctly on a fortune-cookie fortune. Different parts of the fortune seem the most important at different times: "other," "beauties" (plural), "in the world." The idiosyncratic, the strangely beautiful, the just plain beautiful, and the here-and-now; I suppose it's not the ideal but the beautifully (though usually unseen) real that interests me as a composer.
Orianna Webb's music has been described as "abound[ing] in urgent and mysterious detail"(Cleveland Plain Dealer). Her work has been recognized with honors and commissions from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Fromm Foundation, ASCAP, the American Music Center, SCI, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the New York Youth Symphony, and others. Recent premieres have included Mirrored Spaces, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation and co-written with Daniel Lippel, and Ways the Sky Meets the Sea, winner of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize. Orianna's music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia, the Bowling Green Philharmonia, Flexible Music, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Prism Players, MaNi Chamber Ensemble, In Frequency, the Mostly Modern Chamber Music Society, and heard at recitals and festivals across the country.
Orianna has taught composition, orchestration, music theory, music history, and musicianship variously at the Yale School of Music, Yale College, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Case Western Reserve University. An enthusiastic teacher of all ages, she was a founding faculty member of the Young Composers Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has taught music to the very young and those with special needs.
Born into a family of visual artists in Akron, OH, Orianna grew up playing the bassoon and the piano. In college she played orchestral and chamber music, and sang, played keyboards, and wrote for an improvisational duo and a rock band. After a brief detour studying anthropology then religion, she earned degrees in music from the University of Chicago, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Yale School of Music. She studied composition with Martin Bresnick, Margaret Brouwer, John Eaton, Joseph Schwantner, and Roger Zahab, and also at La Schola Cantorum in Paris with Samuel Adler and Philip Lasser. She is a member of ASCAP. Orianna lives in Queens, New York City, with her husband and daughter.