One of the most sought-after soloists and chamber music collaborators of his generation, Orion Weiss is widely regarded as a “brilliant pianist” (The New York Times) with “powerful technique and exceptional insight” (The Washington Post). With a warmth to his playing that outwardly reflects his engaging personality, Weiss has dazzled audiences with his passionate, lush sound and performed with dozens of orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic.
Recent seasons have seen Weiss in performances for the Lucerne Festival, the Denver Friends of Chamber Music, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center’s Fortas Series, and the 92nd Street Y, and at the Aspen, Bard, Ravinia, Seattle, and Grand Teton summer festivals, among others. Highlights also include his third performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a live-stream with the Minnesota Orchestra, a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the release of his recording of Christopher Rouse’s Seeing, and recordings of Gershwin’s complete works for piano and orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta.
Known for his affinity for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with violinists Augustin Hadelich, William Hagen, Benjamin Beilman, and James Ehnes; pianists Michael Brown and Shai Wosner; cellist Julie Albers; and the Ariel, Parker, and Pacifica Quartets. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the United States at venues and festivals including Sheldon Concert Hall, the Broad Stage, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, the Schubert Club, Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Spivey Hall, and many more.
In the summer of 2011, Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.
Weiss can be heard on the Naxos, Telos, Bridge, First Hand, Yarlung, and Artek labels in recordings such as The Piano Protagonists with The Orchestra Now led by Leon Botstein; Scarlatti’s Complete Keyboard Sonatas; a disc of Bartók, Dvorák, and Prokofiev; Brahms Sonatas with violinist Arnaud Sussmann; a solo album of J.S. Bach, Scriabin, Mozart, and Carter; and a recital disc of Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Schumann, Massenet, and Piatigorsky with cellist Julie Albers. In March 2022, First Hand Records released the first album of Weiss’s Arc Trilogy – Arc I: Granados, Janáček, Scriabin – a recording that explores the omens and anxiety of the tense world leading up to the first World War. Gramophone Magazine praised the album as “expansive, colourful, and texturally varied. Arc II, featuring the music of Ravel, Brahms, and Shostakovich, will be released in late 2022.
Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year, Gilmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at The Juilliard School, and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005, he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of Lincoln Center's The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season at Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with Shai Wosner.
A native of Lyndhurst, Ohio, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, Sergei Babayan, Kathryn Brown, and Edith Reed. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The next month, 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 and was immediately invited to return for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in that October. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.