An artist whose poetic gifts and captivating virtuosity have made him one of the most important and versatile pianists performing before the public today, Christopher O'Riley enjoys a thriving concert career. His singularly broad repertoire ranges from music of the English Renaissance and French Baroque periods to the new works of today's leading composers to such non-classical forms as the tango. He also plays many of his own arrangements and transcriptions. His performing schedule regularly takes him to major cities throughout American and has been highlighted by frequent engagements at both Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. Internationally, he has appeared in cultural capitals worldwide from London, Paris
and Vienna to Hong Kong and
Recognition of his talent has been widespread. His honors include top prizes at the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Busoni and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Prize. As an emerging young pianist, he enjoyed the sponsorship of Young Concert Artists, the Xerox/Affiliate Artists Program and the Pro Musicis Foundation.
Mr. O'Riley's recordings also reflect the originality of his programming. Among his highly acclaimed solo releases are a Scriabin disc for Image Recordings and an all-Stravinsky disc on Elektra Nonesuch, featuring "Three Movements from Petrouchka" and Mr. O'Riley's own transcriptions of "Apollo" and "Histoire du Soldat." He is also heard on a recent RCA Victor Red Seal release of French repertoire for flute and piano with James Galway. His discography is further highlighted by a Busoni album (including the rarely-heard "Fantasia Contrappuntistica") a disc of Ravel's solo works, a recording of Beethoven Piano Sonatas, a collaboration with cellist Carter Brey entitled "Le Grand Tango" and the premiere recording of "The Short-Tempered Clavier" by the fabled composer P.D.Q. Bach.
Even as he explores new stylistic territory, Mr. O'Riley remains in demand for his unique interpretations of the standard piano literature. He is a favorite guest with the foremost orchestras in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, among others. He was also the featured soloist with the Ulster Orchestra on its first American tour in 1992. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, John Williams, Neeme J rvi,
Edo de Waart, Yoel Levi, Hugh Wolff
and Andrew Litton.
In addition to his regular touring, Mr. O'Riley has recently undertaken several new projects. He has established "Los Tangueros," a partnership with Argentine pianist Pablo Ziegler that has been touring over the last two seasons with a program of two-piano arrangements of Astor Piazzolla's classic tangos. In the spring of 1999 he began a collaboration with choreographer and director Martha Clarke, who has staged several stories of Anton Chekhov set to the piano works of Alexander Scriabin, performed live on stage by Mr. O'Riley. This production, titled "Vers le Flamme," is touring Europe and the United States, and is being presented by many leading performing arts centers and venues, including Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Krannert Center (Champagne/Urbana) and the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor. Mr. O'Riley is also the host of a nationally distributed radio program for Public Radio International, "From the Top," which showcases the vibrant performances and personalities of young musicians.
An enthusiastic advocate of new music, Mr. O'Riley has twice participated in the annual "Absolut Concerto" concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, premiering works of Richard Danielpour and Michael Torke. In 1999-2000 he performed Michael Daugherty's "Le Tombeau de Liberace" with the Detroit Symphony and with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, both in St. Paul and on tour. He has also recently given premieres of works by Aaron Jay Kernis, including his piano quartet, "Still Movement with Hymn," (also recorded for Decca's Argo label) and the Superstar Etude No. 1, inspired by the pianism of Jerry Lee Lewis. Mr. O'Riley's other recordings include an Albany release of pieces by John Adams, Robert Helps, Todd Brief and Roger Sessions, and a disc of solo and chamber works by Danielpour for Koch International.
Christopher O'Riley is the recipient of an Artist's Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied
with Russell Sherman.
Hold Me To This: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead is virtuoso pianist Christopher O'Riley's second album of solo piano interpretations of recordings by the progressive English rock band Radiohead. Like True Love Waits, Mr. O'Riley's first album devoted to Radiohead repertoire, the new album's performances were developed from his own meticulous transcriptions of Radiohead records. Unlike its predecessor which comprised personal favorites, Hold Me To This interprets a number of rarities, tracks never released on the band's full-length CDs.
65 Stations Total
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle (ADI) Berkeley, Cincinatti, New Orleans, Kansas City, Tucson, Honolulu
Crossover Media Projects with: Christopher O'Riley