15 17 Oct '24

Carlos Rafael Rivera

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Function: Composer WSAcademy: WSA Voting Member
CARLOS RAFAEL RIVERA is a Grammy nominated and Emmy winning composer, whose career has spanned several genres of the music industry. Having scored one of the most viewed NETFLIX Limited Series of all time, THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, and helmed by writer/director Scott Frank, Carlos received his second Primetime EMMY award, while having received the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), as well as the Hollywood Music in Media (HMMA), and two International Film Critics Association (IFMCA) Awards.

His work for Film and TV includes scores for Netflix’ GODLESS, for which he received a Primetime Emmy, Universal Pictures’ A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, starring Liam Neeson, the hit TV show and 15-time EMMY nominee HACKS for HBO Max, starring Jean Smart, as well as JUST BEYOND for DISNEY +, and the upcoming LA REINA DEL SUR 3 for TELEMUNDO.  

A protégé of RANDY NEWMAN, he earned a DMA in Composition at USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Donald Crockett and Stephen Hartke. As a guitarist, he has performed onstage as opening act for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl; recorded studio sessions for Island/Def Jam, and Universal Records; and had songs featured on feature soundtracks (CRASH, DRAGONFLY), as well as NETFLIX’s FIREFLY LANE, ABC’s SCRUBS, MTV, and VH-1.

His music has been acclaimed by the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Examiner, and the LA Times, helping establish him as a composer with the unique ability of incorporating a large diversity of musical influences into his captivating compositions, which reflect his multi-cultural upbringing in Central America and the United States.

His work for Visual Media and the Performing Arts can be heard in concert halls and at festivals around the world, being featured by Arturo Sandoval, the Cincinnati Pops, Colin Currie, Chanticleer, Cavatina Duo, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the American Composers Orchestra, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Pro Musica Mundi Choir, and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra; commissioned by the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony and the American Wind Symphony; recorded by Varêse-Sarabande, Warner, BMG, Sony, Naxos, and Cedille labels; and awarded by the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Guitar Foundation of America, BMI, and twice by ASCAP.

He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Miami Symphony Orchestra and was a musical consultant for “Invitation to World Literature,” an educational series funded by the Annenberg Foundation and produced by WGBH. He is a voting member of the Television Academy (EMMYS) and the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs), and a board member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL). He is a sought-out guest composer and lecturer throughout the Americas and Europe.

Carlos is Assistant Professor and Director of the Media Scoring and Production Program at the acclaimed Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and is represented by Bradley Rainey at WME.


Television Composer of the Year 2021: Hacks - Season 1, The Queen's Gambit

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