The 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 his reputation as the foremost exponent 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". Opera News described him as "one of today?s greatest exponents of Granados? piano 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 Records initiated a series of his recordings of the complete piano works of Granados. Seven compact discs of the series have been released to date. Critics consistently describe Mr. Riva?s recordings as ?splendid?, ?masterly?, ?magnificent?, and ?outstanding? while acclaiming his ?absolute authority?, ?superb artistry?, ?elegance? and ?poetic instincts?. Spanish critics writing in Scherzo praised Mr. Riva?s interpretation of Granados? masterpiece as ?belonging to the privileged class of the very best versionsof 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. The Fallen Nightingale, a novel by John W. Milton based on the life of Enrique Granados, was published by Swan Books in 2005 and includes a compilation CD of Mr. Riva?s recordings for Naxos.
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 American performance of a newly discovered Scarlatti Sonata at the National Gallery of Art and the world premiere of Gazebo Dances by John Corigliano in Barcelona.
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, New York University, and at the Academia Marshall, founded by Granados.