Violinist Sean Riley maintains a career throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a performer, entrepreneur and educator. He was given the honor to perform for Charles, the Prince of Wales at his 65th birthday celebration and on a separate occasion for the Sultan of Oman at the Savoy Hotel’s Royal Suite. Riley was most recently awarded the Rainwater Innovation Grant to design and 3D print a 6 string electric violin to perform The Dharma at Big Sur written by the American composer, John Adams.
Sean’s recent performance highlights have included the Basically Beethoven Festival, Austin Camerata (Texas), St. Martin in the Fields, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum, St. James’s Piccadilly (London), and Orchestra Hall in Chicago. He has collaborated with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the series Infernal Dance: Inside the World of Bartok and has also been featured in performances at the Sala Maria Cristina (Málaga), Teatro all’Antica (Italy), and the Kosciuszko Foundation (New York). He has curated recitals at London’s National Gallery, at the Contemporary International Music Exchange in Italy and has most recently performed Fazil Say’s 1001 Nights in a Harem with the Signature Symphony in the United States.
A tireless advocate of contemporary music Sean has led London’s New Perspectives Ensemble, Variable Geometry Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble and has also performed with the Continuum Ensemble in London and a completely independent Continuum Ensemble in America for the Intersections Series at Harvard University, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. He gave the European premiere of Nichole Lizée's violin concerto Cathedral Mountain at the Contemporary International Music Exchange and a Premier of Fazil Say’s concerto 1001 Nights in a Harem. Sean has recently championed works by composers Fazil Say, Simon Holt, Craig Armstrong and Ken Hesketh.
As an educator Sean has held a professorship at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where he utilised Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process to develop communication and leadership skills amongst musicians. He was a graduate teaching assistant in contemporary music at the Royal College of Music and currently holds the role of Teaching Assistant to Brian Lewis at the University of Texas, Austin. Riley authored two online units for a blended-learning course on the Practice of Music Making jointly delivered by the Open University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on the topics of Artistic Identity and Social Media Marketing in the Arts.
Sean holds both bachelors and masters degrees in violin performance from The Juilliard School as well as an artist diploma and Master in Philosophy on the subject of performance training and peer communication in higher music education from the Royal College of Music, London. His teachers have included Radu Blidar, Kyung-Wha Chung, Hyo Kang, Roland and Almita Vamos and Brian Lewis. Sean the recipient of the Williamson Foundation of Music annual grant, Rayne Foundation grant, Donald Paterson Award and the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal and the Rainwater Innovation Grant.