Carolyn Riley grew up in a small town in Virginia. After attending the Juilliard School and graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, Riley accepted a viola position with Pacific Symphony. Riley has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Russia, and Israel. Her chamber music performances have been heard in major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center. As former principal violist of the National Repertory Orchestra, she soloed with the orchestra numerous times. Riley also regularly plays with the Los Angeles Opera, the San Diego Symphony, the Pageant of the Masters, and records for the Motion Picture Industry.