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Rodrigo Riera was born in Barrio Nuevo, Venezuela. He started playing guitar at a very early age, and developed a capacity to improvise by himself. He studied with Raúl Borges in Caracas, at the "Escuela De Musica y Declamacion" between 1945 and 1950. His Preludio Criollo is dedicated to his teacher Borges. He soon developed a reputation as an excellent guitarist, and along with Alirio Diaz became one of the most prominent concert guitarists. He travelled to Europe in 1951, and finished his studies at the Real Conservatorio of Madrid, where he lived for seven years.

In 1962 Riera went to the United States, and thanks to income from his first recitals, he was able to stay in New York working as a teacher and a as concert guitarist. Between 1963 and 1964 he composed his more important pieces for guitar, these are: Preludio Criollo, Merengue Venezolano, Choro, Elorac and Cancion Caroreña. Riera died in August 1999.

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