Aiyana Braun (b. 1997) is a composer, conductor, and pianist whose work confronts pressing political and social matters while often drawing upon elements of nature. She believes that in times of adversary, it is important to emulate aspects of the environment around us to ground ourselves as well as be reminded of the inherent beauty of our surroundings which may otherwise go unseen, unheard, and unappreciated.
She is a composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music whose orchestral works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic at the age of 15, the New York Youth Symphony, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, among others. Her compositions have been broadcasted on various radio programs across the country as well as featured on episodes of WHYY/PBS's "On Stage at Curtis."
Some of her most recent accolades include being selected as a Berkeley Sounds Composer Fellow for the Berkeley Symphony’s 2017-18, and 2018-19 Seasons where she works under the mentorship of Anna Clyne. She was selected as a winner of the BMI Student Composer Awards, and has been featured on the National Public Radio Program “From the Top.” Aiyana was also a winner of the inaugural American Composers Forum “NextNotes” Composition Competition.
Aiyana worked in the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers "Bridge Program" for three years as a Teaching Artist Intern and Associate, teaching composition to young students working with professional ensembles based in New York City, including the Philharmonic itself. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studies under full scholarship as the Edith Evans Braun fellow with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, and Dr. Richard Danielpour.
Aiyana studied in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division as a composition major in the studio of Dr. Manuel Sosa for four years, during which time she was a member of the New York Youth Symphony’s Composition Program. She has had lessons/masterclasses with Kaija Saariaho, Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, Libby Larsen, Unsuk Chin, Caroline Shaw, Derek Bermel, Bridget Kibbey, Amy Beth Kirsten, Christopher Theofanidis, Anna Clyne, Augusta Read Thomas, Stephen Coxe, Ian Krouse, Chen Yi, among others.
Aiyana performed her first composition at the 2008 Marian Anderson awards at the request of Mr. Norman Lear, an event honoring Mr. Norman Lear and Dr. Maya Angelou which took place in Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. When having the honor to speak with Dr. Angelou after the event, she was kind to express “Your music touched me deeply.”