Britton Riley, cello
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, he joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2015 at the age of twenty-seven. Mr. 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 conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, Roberto Minczuk, Johannes Debus, Lior Shambadal, Carl St. Clair, and John Williams.
Mr. 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 Seminar, Music by the Sea, Le Domaine Forget Chamber Music Festival, Weimarer Meisterkurse, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Sunflower 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. Other primary influences have included Eleonore Schoenfeld, Raphael Wallfisch, Desmond Hoebig, Gilda Barston, Andres Diaz, and Nancy Hair. Additionally, Mr. 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 and became active as a chamber musician in the Toronto area as cellist of the Herbert (string) and Penrose (piano) Trios. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, he has coached young musicians at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Mount Royal University, Calgary Youth Orchestras, and the Alberta Youth Orchestra Symposium at the Banff Centre.
An experienced arts administrator, Mr. Riley has worked at major arts organizations including the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Music Institute of Chicago. He has also been self-employed 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 major record labels including Interscope, Geffen, and A&M Records and as a USC Thornton School of Music approved audio engineer. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music @ NewPark, a series which brings musicians from around the world to the heart of the Finger Lakes to relax, rehearse, and perform in a unique and intimate setting surrounded by nature. Mr. Riley has a strong interest in collaborating with artists of various disciplines, especially dancers and photographers. Among his many interests, he enjoys traveling, nature, sports, cooking, hiking, and photography.