Orion Weiss (born November 8, 1981) is an American classical pianist.
Education and Teaching
Weiss began his musical studies at the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, Iowa. When his family moved to Lyndhurst, Ohio, he continued his piano studies with Carol Lubetkin, and later with pianist and composer Edith Reed. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp between 1991 and 1995, winning the concerto competition each year. Between 1995-2000 he studied with Paul Schenly, Reinberger Chair in Piano and Head of the Piano Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Also during these years he attended summer music festivals and workshops at Pianofest in the Hamptons, the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy, the Perlman Music Program, and Music Academy of the West. In 2004 he graduated from the Juilliard School in New York earning a Bachelor of Music degree. At Juilliard, he studied with Emanuel Ax.
Weiss has participated regularly in a teaching residency for gifted young musicians in Medellin, Columbia, Red Esquela de Musica Festicamara Medellin.
In February 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999.
Weiss was featured in the 2004 Musical America and the March 2004 Symphony Magazine as part of the next generation of great artists in classical music. He has performed with numerous orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, New World Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. He made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in April 2005. Also in 2005, he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman. He toured the US with the Orchester der Klangverwaltung Munich conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg in October 2007. He toured China with the Pittsburgh Symphony in May 2009 (Cultural China). In 2010 he was featured in a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta "What this Gershwin recording means to me". In the summer of 2011, Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood .
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the United States at venues and festivals from, among many, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to the Seattle Chamber Music Society, to the Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall with Itzhak Perlman in a benefit for the Perlman Music Program. He was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 2002–2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-03 season at Alice Tully Hall with Shai Wosner. In addition, Weiss has performed duo-piano recitals with, among others, Emanuel Ax. Weiss described his preparation for recitals in a 2006 profile in International Piano. Weiss made his recital debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in January 2012. He joined the Pacifica Quartet at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico in the spring of 2012.
Orion Weiss is married to the pianist Anna Polonsky with whom he performs two-piano concertos with orchestra (most recently the Columbus symphony), as well as collaborating in duo-piano and four-hand recitals, including Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Camerata Pacifica, Barge Music, Bay Chamber Concerts and the Bard Music Festival.
Awards and recognitions
- 1999 Gilmore Young Artist Award
- 2001 Mieczyslaw Munz Award at the Juilliard School
- 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant
- 2002, 2003 Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School
- 2005 Juilliard William Petschek Award
- 2010 Classical Recording Foundation's Young Artist of the Year 
- Works for piano and cello by Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann with cellist Julie Albers (Artek Records, 2005), Artek AR-0022-2
- J.S. Bach, Scriabin, Mozart, Carter (Yarlung Records, 2008), Audiophile digital recording
- Gershwin: Concerto in F; Rhapsody No. 2; I Got Rhythm Variations – Orion Weiss, piano, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta , Conductor (Naxos American Classics 8.559705), audio-only Blu-ray, CD
- 42 Bartok Bagatelles, Dvorak Humoresques, Prokofiev Visions Fugitives (Bridge Records, Inc 2012) 
- Clint O'Connor (May 24, 1998) Master of the Keys Orion Weiss Makes Beautiful Music. Plain Dealer
- Allan Kozinn (March 24, 2008) MUSIC REVIEW A Give and Take Between Experienced and Emerging. New York Times
- Wilma Salisbury (February 24, 1999) Young Pianist a Big Hit in Big-League Debut. Plain Dealer
- M Dion Thompson (March 20, 1999)Watts' fill-in is fully prepared: Music:Once young pianist realized it was no joke, Weiss leapt at the chance to play with the BSO, which is just as tickled.Baltimore Sun
- Harris Goldsmith (2004) Young Artists: The Thrill of Discovery Musical America
- Anya Grundmann (2004) Generation Next Symphony Magazine
- David Patrick Stearns (July 19, 2008) Managing to stand out at the Mann Philadelphia Inquirer
- Donald Rosenberg (July 21, 2008) Cleveland Orchestra welcomes top-notch guests Plain Dealer
- Orion Weiss (April 2005) How Nervous Should I Be? (Reflections on a N.Y. Debut) The Juilliard Journal Online 
- William Furtwangler (October 20, 2007) Bavarian Orchestra Masterful Charleston Post and Courier
- Andrew Druckenbrod (January 31, 2009) Bigger not better at Heinz Hall Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Paul Griffiths (September 27, 2002) Music Review; A Crowd of Pianos Resounding Together New York Times
- Anthony Tommasini (August 17, 2006) CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK All in the Timing: Classical Concerts Don’t Have to Start at 8 New York Times
- Chloe Cutts (February 2006) Rich Pickings International Piano
- Stephen Brookes (Jan 8, 2012) Orion Weiss at Terrace Theater "The Washington Post"
- Barbara Zuck (Jan 21, 2012) "The Columbus Dispatch"