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Rain Worthington


There is a deep interiority to this music… Worthington has an instantly recognizable sound, an austere sensuality not quite like anyone else …a composer of considerable imagination, emotional expressiveness, and poetic sensibility.” – American Record Guide

Performances of Rain Worthington’s compositions have spanned the globe from Brazil to Iceland to Armenia, with premieres at Monten Hall in Tokyo, Oxford University U.K, and the Delhi Music Society in India. Her work takes “. . . ideas of American musical style to a new place – like a walk in a familiar, yet very different park”– Chamber Music magazine

Her catalog includes works for orchestra, mixed chamber ensembles, violin duo, solo marimba and even a miniature for oud. When asked what inspires her music, Rain says the impulses for new pieces have ranged from the sounds of “NYC garbage trucks backing up late in the night, to the two-note expression of a sigh, to a dream of a careening bike ride through dark fog.

Worthington . . . “makes clear to us how we experience the transitional, impermanent and ever shifting quality of a later modernist world.” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review 

Worthington does not compose within a framework of musical architecture or theory – rather she works from sounds that seep in from life and stir her emotions. With a strong childhood memory of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” an affinity for Satie’s piano music, and the allure of Middle-Eastern modal music that led her to travels in Greece, Egypt and Turkey, Rain has always followed her own musical instincts.

She first began composing solo piano pieces, before learning music notation, and performed her works from memory in fellow artists’ lofts in Soho and at The Kitchen. With the downtown NYC club scene serving as her conservatory, Worthington led two bands and performed at CBGB’s, the Pyramid, Roulette, and PS 122.

Inspired by the energy of the contemporary classical scene, she pursued her fascination with orchestral music and taught herself notation and orchestration. Her orchestral writing has been described in the IAWM Journal as “a fusion of styles—ancient, medieval sounds expressed via modality and open sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical approaches to basic ideas—to capture components of the human experience.”

In 2016 Navona Records released Worthington’s solo CD of orchestral works “DREAM VAPORS” to critical acclaim. That same year the Missouri State University Symphony premiered her orchestral work, “Tracing a Dream.” This season Worthington returns to MSU as guest composer for an interdisciplinary residency and the premiere of her violin concerto, “In Passages.”

In addition to composing concert works, she serves as Artistic Administrator/Composer Advocate for the New York Women Composers.

Note: The composer has directed that all Artist’s proceeds from the purchase of the Dream Vapors album to be donated through PARMA Recordings to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research).


“Tracing a Dream” is the track featured on the “Dream Vapors” CD promotion.

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Shredding Glass – for orchestra (opening excerpt)

Shredding Glass began as an immediate cathartic response to the events and images of September 11, 2001. It was not until several years had passed that I was able to complete the work.

…Worthington’s piece provides the listener instead with exquisite disintegration, mere glass filaments casting light in all directions, with an undercurrent of unresolved apprehension… The texture is transparent but luminous, reminiscent perhaps of the late works of Mahler. – Journal of International Alliance for Women in Music

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Animated Classical Discoveries radio interview segment for “Fast Through Dark Winds”

Classical Discoveries January 27, 2016 radio broadcast. Host & Producer, Marvin Rosen with Guest Composer, Rain Worthington. Animated interview segment for “Fast Through Dark Winds.” Animation by Sabrina Pena Young.

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