Audrey Riley is a cellist and string arranger based in the UK. Riley trained at the Guildhall School of Music with Leonard Stehn and was a cellist for Virginia Astley from 1983 to 1986 and a one-time auxiliary member of The Family Cat. She has been a member of the post-minimalist band Icebreaker since 1989, and a frequent indie session artist. As an arranger and improvising session cellist she has recorded for nearly two decades with numerous groups including The Style Council (A Stones Throw Away), The Smiths (Stop Me), Nick Cave (on Tender Prey), Dubstar, The Cure, The Go-Betweens, The Sundays, Lush, the Smashing Pumpkins (for whom she conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra strings) and Dave Matthews (for whom she conducted the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in eight of her arrangements for the album Some Devil), as well as live and television appearances with many others. Most recently she has contributed her playing and arrangements to new albums by Coldplay (A Rush of Blood to the Head), Feeder (Comfort in Sound and Pushing the Senses), Muse (Absolution, Black Holes & Revelations and The Resistance), Moloko (Statues) and Fightstar (Be Human).
She has worked extensively with dance companies including Siobhan Davies, Royal Scottish Ballet and Random Dance. Since 2001 she has toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performing Gavin Bryars 'Bi-ped' and the solo work for cello, 'One 8' by John Cage, in Paris, Mullhouse, Berlin, Dublin, Reykjavik, Bergen, Hong Kong, Brazil and at The Barbican, London. She took part in the first performance of a new work "Views", music by Cage, performing with the experimental Japanese violinist Takahisa Kosugi and the composer Christian Wolff, which toured throughout Europe in 2005-6.
During 2002/03, Riley embarked on her own project, entitled 'A Change of Light', a collaboration between musicians, composers and visual artist Philip Riley, with Andrew Zolinsky (piano), James Woodrow (guitar), Nick Allum (The Fatima Mansions, Cathal Coughlan) and Rob Allum (High Llamas, Turin Brakes) both on drums, to present music for cello in an expanded recital. New works have been written by composers Gavin Bryars, David Lang, Steve Hillier (Dubstar), Mark Brydon (Moloko), Emma Anderson (Lush), Cathal Coughlan, Piet Goddaer (Ozark Henry), David Gavurin, Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and Damian le Gassick. After many performances in art galleries and venues in the UK, the project was recorded in 2003/04 for a combined CD/DVD release, with a second series being subsequently developed.
More recently, Audrey has joined London music college The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, as the tutor for the arrangements classes.