Réya Wahab is a composer, conductor, and violinist from Beirut, Lebanon. She is best known for her incorporation and blend of different cultures in her music. Réya’s first piece, Debris, was premiered in the multi-media concert series (2016) by Dr. Martín Loyato at the Irwin theatre in Beirut, Lebanon. Réya also orchestrated and arranged for multi Grammy award-winning drummer, producer, and educator, Teri Lynne Carrington. The piece, Geri Rigged, was a tribute to the late Geri Allen and was performed by the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra in 2018. Réya was also commissioned to write pieces for various ensembles, one of which is Fragmented Memories, a piece that was written for the Sounds of the World ensemble at the Cambridge School of Weston. Réya’s most recent premier is her orchestral work “October 17 rises” which is a tribute to the Lebanese revolution that erupted in October 17, 2019.
As a violinist, Réya has shared the stage with numerous well-renowned artists such as Jacob Collier, Larry Klein, Simon Shaheen, Bassam Saba, Martín Loyato, Khansa, mozahzah, Nadra Assaf, Layth Sidiq, Naseem Alatrash, Magdy Al-Hosseiny, and others. Réya is also a session musician, having recorded in studio for Harry Gregson-Williams, Jorge Romano, and Martín Loyato. Réya also was part of an electro-acoustic duo with electronic producer/guitarist, mozahzah. The duo performed in numerous concerts, as part of the Lebanese Fete De La Musique, Hamra Street Festival, and other solo concerts.
Réya studied conducting and composition under Julius P. Williams and was his assistant conductor to the Berklee Contemporary Symphony orchestra. She was a member of the Medomak Conductor’s retreat in 2019 with Kenneth Kiesler and then joined a workshop with Alice Farnham that same year. Réya also conducted a number of recording studio sessions.
At age 9, she started her extensive classical music training at the Lebanese National Conservatory where she was part of the children’s orchestra and then the Higher student’s orchestra led by Lubnan Baalbaki which performed concerts around Lebanon. Being born and raised in such a musically rich region, Réya began exploring Middle Eastern music and that is where her love for blending musical cultures started. Réya joined the Middle Eastern orchestra led by Fady Yaacoub and Antoine Khalife and played many concerts around Lebanon, one of which was a tribute for the world-renowned musician Marcel Khalife, and another with the well-known singer in the region, Ghassan Saliba. Réya also played with Khansa and mozahzah at a performance with Joumana Haddad (a famous author and women’s rights activist) and then solo at her book opening.
After completing her BA in Film and Theatre studies at the Lebanese AmericanUniversity of Beirut, Réya moved to Boston, Massachusetts to further her studies in Film Scoring and Conducting and graduated in 2019. She has since worked along with a few film composers, such as Saul Simon MacWilliams, Osei Essed, and Dan Martinez. Currently, she is working on a couple of documentary films with MacWilliams.