American pianist DOUGLAS RIVA has gained international recognition for his "profound knowledge of Spanish music" (La Vanguardia, Barcelona). No less an authority than the distinguished Spanish composer Xavier Montsalvatge has described Mr. Riva as "an exceptional pianist." Mr. Riva’s interpretations of the works of Enrique Granados (1867-1916), in particular, have earned him a place as one of this composer’s leading exponents worldwide. In the words of El País (Madrid) Mr. Riva is "one of the principal apostles of Granados’ music." And according to Natalia Granados, the composer’s daughter, "Mr. Riva knows everything relating to my father to perfection."
In recognition of Mr. Riva’s credentials as a Granados exponent, Naxos initiated a series of his recordings of the complete piano works of Granados. Six compact discs of the series have been released as of January 2003. Spanish critics writing in Scherzo praised Mr. Riva’s interpretation of Granados’ masterpiece as “belonging to the privileged class of the very best versions of Goyescas.” London’s The Guardian described Vol. 3 of the series as “a totally compelling performance [that] demands to be heard.”
Douglas Riva is the Assistant Director of the 18 volume critical edition of the Complete Works for Piano of Enrique Granados, directed by Alicia de Larrocha and published by Editorial Boileau, Barcelona, 2001. The de Larrocha-Riva edition contains the DLR catalogue, the first complete catalogue of Granados’ piano works.
An active recitalist, Mr. Riva has performed at the White House and at Carnegie Hall and has recorded numerous programs for television and radio in Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Holland, and the United States. He gave the first United States performance of a newly discovered Scarlatti Sonata at the National Gallery of Art and the world premiere of Gazebo Dances by John Corigliano at the Conservatorio Superior de Música, Barcelona.
In 1996 Mr. Riva presented a critically acclaimed cycle of concerts in homage to Granados on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the composer's death including the World Premiere of 27 works at the Juan March Foundation, Madrid. In addition, Mr. Riva gave other World Premiere performances of numerous works for piano and chamber ensemble by Enrique Granados during concerts in London, New York, Barcelona, and Boston. During a concert tour of Brazil he was chosen to inaugurate a new concert hall--"Sala Fernando Coelho" in Belo Horizonte. The Brazilian press applauded his "virtuosity" (O Popular) and his "great ability to communicate with the public" (Diário da Tarde).
Douglas Riva started his musical education at the age of nine, studying both the piano and the flute. He began his professional career at the age of sixteen as the Principal Flutist of the El Paso (Texas) Symphony Orchestra. Later, devoting himself exclusively to the piano, he continued his studies at the Juilliard School and New York University, studying with Adele Marcus and Eugene List. As a recipient of an award from the Beebe Fund, Mr. Riva studied at the Academia Marshall, founded by Granados in Barcelona.
Mr. Riva is the author of two popular piano methods and has been invited to contribute articles for Grove Dictionary of Opera, Diccionario de la música española, Opera News, Sheet Music, Revista de Catalunya, Keyboard Classics, The Pianola Journal, and the Catalan Review. He is a Contributing Editor of Piano Today.