CARLOS RAFAEL RIVERA (b 1970 )
Los Angeles based composer Carlos Rafael Rivera was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Virginia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Miami.
Being of Cuban/Guatemalan descent, his compositions are an amalgamation of his passion for cross-cultural folklore and music. From the Tibetan Buddhist chants of his choral work Motet for Twelve Singers, through his orchestral setting of the Mayan myths of the Popol-Vuh, Carlos’ compositions have been performed throughout the world by such noted ensembles as the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Chanticleer, recorded by Warner Classics and Sony Classical, published by Mel Bay and Doberman-Yppan, and awarded by the American Composers Orchestra, BMI, the Guitar Foundation of America, and twice by ASCAP.
Performers of his work include the American Composers Orchestra and the USC Thornton Symphony, as well as some of the world’s brightest young stars, including percussionist Colin Currie, the Cavatina Duo, and guitarist Denis Azabagic.
As a guitarist, Carlos recorded work includes performances on feature soundtracks for Lions Gate Films (Crash 2006 Academy Award Winner: Best Picture) and Universal Pictures (Dragonfly - 2002), as well as studio sessions for Vagrant, Island/Def Jam, and Universal Records. He has performed live with Grammy Award winning jazz trumpet soloist Arturo Sandoval and currently with singer/songwriter Randy Coleman, recently opening for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl. Carlos was also a second prize winner at the D’Addario International Guitar Concerto Competition.
While studying classical guitar with Carlos Molina, his compositional studies began at Miamis Florida International University with Fred Kaufman and Orlando Garcia, continuing through his Masters work with Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett at the University of Southern Californias Thornton School of Music. Carlos is pursuing a doctorate in Musical Arts at the Thornton School, where he holds a teaching assistantship, and is also an appointed faculty member of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.
Carlos has been artist-in-residence at the University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as a frequent guest lecturer throughout the United States on topics ranging from his own compositions, the music of British rock group Radiohead, to the life and works of Spanish composer Joaqun Rodrigo.