Born in Japan and based in Belgium, Chinese-American cellist Riana Anthony traverses the globe with her music and strives to deepen human understanding through her imagination and international stage presence.
In this past season, Riana performed the European premiere of John Williams’ “Highwood’s Ghost” with the Brussels Philharmonic and maestro Stéphane Denève at the Flagey Festival in Brussels, Belgium. The success of this performance was hailed by a critic in the Klassik Begeistert as “a performance of a musical mystery that created goosebumps.” She was also a featured soloist at the Peninsula Music Festival, performing Dmitri Kabalevsky’s Concerto No. 2 with the Peninsula Music Festival Symphony under the baton of maestro Victor Yampolsky. Additionally, some of her recent recital appearances include the live broadcast Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in the Chicago Cultural Center, a private concert for the royal family of Belgium, and a multimedia performance in the Berlin Crescendo Festival in which the music was complimented by live paintings on stage.
Highlights of previous seasons include her Kennedy Center debut in 2016, recital tours in cities throughout China and Denmark, as well as her solo appearance in concert series such as the “The City, The Romanticism” with the Shanghai City Symphony Orchestra, Flagey Duo Festival with the MuCH Ensemble, Musicians Club of Women in Chicago, and the Future Master Concert Series at the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai for several seasons. Additionally, Riana has been awarded a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation, and is the prize winner of competitions including the Samuel and Elinor Thaviu Competition, the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Competition, and Viva Hall Cello Competition.
Her love for collaborations and intimate settings of music has brought Riana to perform chamber music in cities across ten different countries in the last season alone, in prestigious halls including Victoria Hall in Geneva, Foundation Louis Vuitton, and Auditorium du Louvre in Paris. Most recent festival appearances include performances at the Keuka Lake Music Festival, Académie musicale de Villecroze, Domaine Forget, Seiji Ozawa International Academy, Waterloo Festival, Festival of Minimes, Festival Tibor Varga in Sion, Rome Chamber Music Festival, and Amelia Island Chamber music Festival.
Riana began playing the cello at the age of nine under the direction of her mother, Lifen Anthony, and cellist Kurata Sumiko. A graduate of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, she was under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen and Julie Albers. Since 2017, Riana is an Artist in Residence at Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth under the direction of Gary Hoffman and Jeroen Reuling. Riana weighs grave importance in giving back to her community wherever she resides and has frequently visited and played in homes for the elderly in Honolulu and Chicago. She continues to take part in community projects in Belgium by Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in which she plays for hospital patients, refugees, as well as for prisoners.