Considered among “Canada’s most promising and brilliant young musicians” and recognized for his musically “refined sensitivity” [Calgary Herald], Canadian-American cellist Britton Riley enjoys a diverse musical career as a performer, teacher, artistic director, and recording engineer. Formerly Assistant Principal of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra four four years, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 2019. Dr. Riley has recorded for film and radio for Sony Pictures, CBC Radio 2, Classical KUSC, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Live from Orchestra Hall series and live performances have brought him to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica Catalana, Konzerthaus Vienna, Smetana Hall in Prague, and Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki, among others. In recent years, he has performed alongside Colin Carr, Levon Chilingarian, Steven Dann, Ernst Kovacic, and Raphael Wallfisch and under many of the world’s most renowned conductors.
Dr. Riley has received recognition throughout North America in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Awards (now YoungArts) and Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition as well as the Sphinx and Hellam Competitions. He has performed at music festivals throughout North America and Europe, including the Banff Summer Music Festival, New York String Orchestra, Music by the Sea, Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, Weimarer Meisterkurse, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, Sunflower Music Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival.
After receiving degrees in Cello Performance and Music Industry from the University of Southern California, he went on to earn his Master of Music and Doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan. During this time, he performed regularly with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and served as teaching assistant to Richard Aaron, teaching private lessons and studio class at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as courses in String Instrument Methods and Music Education. Additional primary influences have included Eleonore Schoenfeld, Raphael Wallfisch, Desmond Hoebig, Gilda Barston, Andres Diaz, and Nancy Hair. Dr. Riley has performed in master classes with many of the great living pedagogues including Colin Carr, Steven Doane, Timothy Eddy, Gary Hoffman, Hans Jorgen-Jensen, Paul Katz, and Miklós Perényi. Following his graduation from the University of Michigan, he was named a Rebanks Fellow at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, he has taught at The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, Mount Royal University, The Kennedy Center’s Summer Music Institute, Calgary Youth Orchestras, and the Alberta Youth Orchestra Symposium at the Banff Centre.
An experienced arts administrator, Dr. Riley has worked at organizations including the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Music Institute of Chicago. Additionally, he has worked as a recording engineer since 2007, working with a variety of artists and ensembles ranging in genre from Classical and Jazz to R&B and Hip-Hop. While living in Los Angeles, he worked in the Rap Promotions department at Interscope, Geffen, and A&M Records and as a USC Thornton School of Music audio engineer. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music @ New Park, an exciting series in Ithaca, NY which provides a unique, relaxed, and stimulating environment for musicians to meet, collaborate, and share with the community, aiming to create a welcoming concert experience for all ages. In 2018, he received an MPower Artist Grant from the Sphinx Organization to continue the expansion of the festival. Dr. Riley has a strong interest in collaborating with artists of various disciplines, especially dancers and videographers. Among his many interests, he enjoys traveling, nature, sports, cooking, hiking, and photography.