John C. Orfe V is an assistant professor of music at Bradley University, where his passion for music and the arts are making an enormous difference in central Illinois. He has played with and composed for a majority of Bradley’s instrumental and vocal faculty, and is an inspiring teacher who leads by example while cultivating the next generation of music teachers, performers and composers. Prior to arriving at Bradley in 2008, he was a visiting professor at colleges in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and at Yale, and artist in residence in Costa Rica and at the Prairie Center of the Arts.
From 2010 to 2012, Orfe was composer-in-residence for the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the first in its history. He has won 12 ASCAP Standard awards for compositional achievements, and more than 100 of his compositions have been performed by orchestras all over Europe and around the world, from Russia to Thailand to Australia. As a pianist, he has performed at premier venues like the Kennedy Center for the Arts and Disney Hall, and he is a founding member of Alarm Will Sound, a contemporary chamber orchestra, traveling with the group nationally and internationally.
Among his honors, Orfe has won the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, Tanglewood Fellowship, Morton Gould Award, the William Schuman and Boudleaux Bryant prizes from BMI, and the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has fulfilled commissions from groups ranging from the NOVUS Trombone Quartet and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra to the Music Institute of Chicago, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Gamelan Lila Muni Ensemble.
Orfe also serves as organist and pianist at the University United Methodist Church of Peoria. He organized the inaugural Illinois New Music Festival in 2011, and composed a moving piece for last year’s 9/11 commemoration at the Cathedral of Saint Mary. He speaks at local schools and has played benefits for organizations like WCBU-FM and Proctor Hospital. Besides captivating audiences, Orfe’s innovative and inspirational artistry has brought international recognition to Peoria. iBi