Of Cuban-Guatemalan descent, Carlos Rafael Rivera has established a name for himself as a composer with the unique ability to incorporate a large diversity of musical influences in his captivating compositions, which reflect his multi-cultural upbringing in Washington, DC, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Miami, and Los Angeles.
His music has been performed by some of the world’s most prominent ensembles, including Chanticleer, the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), the New England Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; recorded by Warner, Sony, Naxos, and Cedille labels; published by C.F. Peters, Mel-Bay, and Doberman Editions; and awarded by the ACO, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Guitar Foundation of America, BMI, and twice by ASCAP.
He is a sought out resident composer, clinician, and guest lecturer throughout the US, covering topics ranging from his own music, to the work of Gershwin, Rodrigo, and Radiohead. A DMA graduate in Music Composition at USC’s Thornton school, he studied with Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, Orlando Garcia, and mentored with the great Randy Newman.
Equally comfortable in the popular music world, his guitar work includes performances on feature soundtracks (Crash, Dragonfly); studio sessions for Island/Def Jam, and Universal Records; as well as ABC’s Scrubs, MTV, and VH-1. He has performed as opening act for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl, and with jazz trumpet icon Arturo Sandoval.
Rivera is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammy®‘s) and was recently invited into the Miami Symphony Orchestra’s Strategic Alliances program, whose membership includes conductors Gustavo Dudamel, and Alondra de la Parra. He is to begin his residency with the Miami Symphony Orchestra for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.