Leanna Featured on NPR's Performance Today

Leanna Primiani's 'Neither Man Nor Money Validate My Worth' was recently featured on NPR's Performance Today, with over 1.5 million listeners nationwide!

Conductor John Devlin says

I find Leanna’s music to be rooted in technical excellence, while also helping to define the future of compositional exploration. Her works are energizing for the musicians to learn and refine, resonate with the widest of audiences, and still manage to be boundary-pushing— a difficult balance that she is one of only a few to truly achieve. It has been a joy to discover her works and to have had the honor of giving the premiere of Gaudete. Throughout the process, Leanna was communicative with regard to all musical items, willing to engage in discussions between me and our audience online, and helpful in promoting the concert to her wide network. She is an artist with whom I will look forward to collaborating again and again.



Leanna speaking

Variety’s Jon Burlingame says, “One of the most remarkable TV-movie scores of the past season... I was so impressed with her music... I look forward to more work by this talented composer.”

Leanna Primiani is an award-winning composer who aims to bring together the collective experiences of the many for greater understanding. Her music asks listeners to consider deep issues and ideas related to the female experience, as she believes that connection and thoughtful participation can catalyze powerful change. Leanna writes music that changes how listeners see themselves and the world around them. Using electronics as well as orchestral instrumentation, she explores the limits of musical form, sound, and time.

Starting out as a conductor, with credits including the National Symphony and LA Opera, she never imagined that composition would take over her life. Leanna channeled her kinesthetic experience of music-making as a conductor into her writing, with her music being championed by Bang On A Can, the Nashville Symphony, the Cabrillo Music Festival, and the Imani Chamber Music Festival in NYC.

Taking her story-telling further, she composes for film and television. Credits include the WIF/Fox Searchlight production of Signal, the feature documentary Altitude Not Attitude, as well as the remake of the cult classic The Bad Seed, directed by and starring Rob Lowe. Variety’s Jon Burlingame calls the music “one of the most remarkable… scores of the past season.” Her training as a classical composer, her fluency with large-scale orchestral scores combined with her talents in electronic sound design gives Leanna an advantage few other composers can boast when scoring film.

Leanna recently won the 2020 Toulmin Commission from the League of American Orchestra and The American Composers Orchestra to compose a work for ROCO in Houston to be premiered in February 2022. Recent premieres include Gaudete by the Wheeling Symphony in December 2020, Glass Ceiling by the St. Olaf Band, OMNI for Reed Trio by Trio 212 New York City, Anxiety for Violin and Electronics in NYC all in May 2021, and Anxiety for Cello and Electronics premiered by Nick Photinos at Bang On A Can at MASS MoCA in July 2021. Most recently, Leanna was a featured composer at the 2021 Taiwan International Flute Festival and a composer-in-residence at The Millay Colony for the Arts in Upstate NY.

Past performances of her catalog include the Nashville Symphony, Cabrillo Festival, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, United Nations 50 for Freedom campaign, International Clarinet Association (Belgium and the USA), National Flute Association, Imani Wind Festival (NYC), June In Buffalo, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Harvard Women’s Choral Festival, Atlanta Chamber Players, Vox Musica, Ensemble Mo (FR), and the Commandaria Orchestra Chamber Music Series (CY) and the Hear/Now Festival in LA.

A native Californian, Leanna currently splits her time between Santa Monica and New York. She earned a doctorate in composition from USC and has studied with such noted composers and conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Peter Eo¨tvo¨s, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Morten Lauridsen, and Howard Shore. She is a member of BMI, Recording Arts Academy, Television Academy, New York Women Composers, The Alliance of Women Film Composers,  and The Society of Composers and Lyricists.


Leanna Primiani wins prestigious Toulmin Commission

Leanna Primiani wins the prestigious Toulmin Commission through the League of American Orchestras and American Composers Orchestra.

Says Artistic Director Alecia Lawyer: "What a gift to have a commission underwritten by the League, ACO and Toulmin Foundation, and to be able to choose from an already highly curated list of talented women composers. When I saw Leanna’s name on the list, I knew I wanted to work with her on an impactful and innovative piece. Her work in film music tells its own story and she crafts her music in deep collaboration with the subject matter and the group premiering it. ROCO will be able to continue our commitment to access and innovation while giving voice to a community that desperately needs a megaphone."

Leanna Primiani wins a 2020 American Prize Composition Professional Division for '1001'

From the American Prize committee: "Important idea- updating the story of Scheherazade to consider violence against women in our modern age... Both musically and intellectually compelling...  A very effective musical and emotional arc, elegantly laid forth. Worthy of many performances. Special"


Leanna Primiani’s Score to “The Bad Seed” Blossoms into Greatness for the Award-Winning Composer

BMI.com - June 12, 2019

As the truth unfolds, the BMI composer’s brilliant 25-piece orchestra (strings, horns and clarinets conducted by Primiani herself) is capped with an out-of-tune piano with this as explanation, “Every little girl plays the piano, but there is something so off about her, that the piano had to be off, too,” she says. Then by adding synthesizers and some electronically processed music, the surrealness of the little girl’s immersion into madness becomes completely inescapable, yet note by note grows increasingly more haunting.

This psychological prodding, however, is nothing new for Primiani whose orchestral “comment piece,” 1001 for Orchestra and Prerecorded Electronics, based on Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, garnered this review from Dave Beck, Midday Host, Classical KING FM 98.1, Seattle: “Along with her gift for evocative atmospherics, the composer creates thrilling moments of visceral rhythmic drive and energy. 1001 is a piece that kept me on the edge of my seat through every new chapter of this old story—-one that is in desperate need of retelling.”

Needless to say, BMI’s Anne Cecere was completely taken with Primiani’s music to The Bad Seed at the Society of Composers & Lyricist’s recent screening and with the Q&A featuring the composer which followed, and with good reason:. Primiani is in good company having studied with such noted composers and conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Peter Eötvös, Christopher Rouse, and Howard Shore, and has obviously mastered her own unique voice.

(read full article on BMI.com)

“The Bad Seed” with Leanna Primiani

May 21, 2019

"One of the most remarkable TV-movie scores of the past season was in Lifetime’s remake of the classic The Bad Seed. The composer was Leanna Primiani, who has many concert-hall credits but is a relatively new voice on the film-music scene. I was so impressed with her music — and, in fact, with actor-director Rob Lowe’s work on the film, which matched the original in scares and suspense — that I agreed to do the Q&A after a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening of the film during Emmy season. It was great fun, and I look forward to more work by this talented composer."

- Variety's Jon Burlingame

Rapido Natioanl

Leanna Primiani wins the audience favorite prize at the Rapido Natioanl Composition Competition!

Anna Edwards on Sirens

Anna Edwards continues her reflections on Sirens. "From my perspective, Sirens feels like a 3D soundscape – the listener can almost feel and see the sound textures as they pass. Some of the musicians' comments about it include ideas like 'very sensory' and 'entrancing.' It is challenging, but, extremely interesting [and] I love how the piccolo is The Siren! Leanna has written a terrific pictorial composition with driving rhythmic and cinematic flare."


"Leanna Primiani is one of the most talented composers of her generation.

Ms. Primiani, who has a vivid musical imagination and amazing compositional abilities, can compose in any style with the greatest of ease and at the highest level of musicality.  She is easy to work with, very professional and incredibly organized... and she also does a great Ethel Merman!"

-Michael Daugherty

This psychological prodding, however, is nothing new for Primiani whose orchestral “comment piece,” 1001 for Orchestra and Prerecorded Electronics, based on Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, garnered this review from Dave Beck, Midday Host, Classical KING FM 98.1, Seattle: “Along with her gift for evocative atmospherics, the composer creates thrilling moments of visceral rhythmic drive and energy. 1001 is a piece that kept me on the edge of my seat through every new chapter of this old story—-one that is in desperate need of retelling.” (Read the full article on BMI.com)

Leanna Primiani’s brilliant use of the instruments of the symphony orchestra, skillfully and imaginatively blended with electronic sounds, is one of many effective touches in her compelling update of the Scheherazade tales called “1001.”  Along with her gift for evocative atmospherics, the composer creates thrilling moments of visceral rhythmic drive and energy. “1001” is a piece that kept me on the edge of my seat through every new chapter of this old story---one that is in desperate need of retelling.

Dave Beck

Midday Host, Classical KING FM 98.1, Seattle

Huffington Post Visionaries Concert article by Jack Meyer   8/11/13

Leanna Primiani's "Thursdays, Saturdays, and Twice on the Sabbath," a nod to Shaker prayer sessions, included stomping and shuffling of feet alongside several wind instruments -- a composition reminiscent of the work of John Adams.  I thoroughly enjoyed [it] from start to finish.  I thoroughly enjoyed [the] performance from start to finish. I found the introductions - including the inspirations for the pieces -- particularly charming.

San Francisco Examiner,  Oct. 2, 2012.  Reviewed by Stephen Smollar

.... Only Leanna Primiani’s “Shaker Dances” seemed to honor the spirit of the rules of the game; and, with its episodic structure, hers was the only piece that seemed to fit comfortably into its allotted extent of clock time. It was no surprise that she was selected to compete against the other regional finalists at the National Finals Concert in Atlanta.

National Symphony flutist Aaron Goldman, August, 2012

Leanna Primiani has written a wonderfully evocative new piece for the NFA High School Competition. The Black Swan stretches the flute to its extreme registers and dynamics to vividly depict various bird calls. It is reminiscent of Messiaen’s “Le Merle Noir” in its artistic use of the flute to sound like birds. This is a wonderful new addition to our repertoire. – Aaron Goldman, flute soloist

Review of SIRENS

February 6, 2009
REVIEW: Slatkin, Ax and orchestra present embarrassment of riches

By Jonathan Neufeld

For The Tennessean

…It served quite well as a sort of light melodic and tonal palate cleanser after the excellent new work of Leanna Primiani.

Primiani’s Sirens opened the night. The piece tells Homer’s story of the Sirens (Odyssey Book XII). “Tell” is not quite the right word. Musically, (and mathematically, Primiani utilizes a Fibonacci series to organize elements of the story according to the Golden Mean) the story unfurls like a ribbon.

Slatkin and the orchestra handled the rhythmic complexities of the piece well. Famously, the sirens’ song is so beautiful and seductive that it lures sailors to shipwreck. Odysseus wants to listen and so has himself bound to the mast of his ship while all of the other sailors put wax in their ears. As he struggles, Odysseus is only bound more tightly to the mast. After building to a climax, an intensely longing solo piccolo calls after Odysseus who can do nothing but strain against his bonds: trumpets lead the orchestra in a static fanfare — unison rhythm on unchanging notes. Primiani’s piece is a model of expressivity within a rigorous form.



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Leanna Primiani is represented by Black Tea Music.
Contact them at info@blackteamusic.com for all things regarding promotion, commissioning, and general inquiries.


Ray Costa
Costa Communications
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