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Born in Venezuela in 1993, Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family.  From the time Ilyich Rivas was a very young boy, it was clear he had a natural talent for conducting and began studying with his father who continues to be his principal guide and mentor to this day. In 2009, Ilyich Rivas was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California, where he made a significant impression on both Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.  After an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), he was awarded the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow.  This two-year position enabled Rivas to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Meier's guidance and to work closely with Marin Alsop and the BSO.  During the summers of 2009-2012, Ilyich Rivas spent a significant amount of time at Glyndebourne Opera, where he observed rehearsals and performances mentored primarily by Vladimir Jurowski, and then attended the first Verbier Festival Conducting Academy.  Following this three year mentor programme at Glyndeborne, he was invited to conduct Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

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Born in Venezuela in 1993, Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family.  From the time Ilyich Rivas was a very young boy, it was clear he had a natural talent for conducting and began studying with his father who continues to be his principal guide and mentor to this day.

In 2009, Ilyich Rivas was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California, where he made a significant impression on both Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.  After an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), he was awarded the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow.  This two-year position enabled Rivas to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Meier's guidance and to work closely with Marin Alsop and the BSO.  During the summers of 2009-2012, Ilyich Rivas spent a significant amount of time at Glyndebourne Opera, where he observed rehearsals and performances mentored primarily by Vladimir Jurowski, and then attended the first Verbier Festival Conducting Academy.  Following this three year mentor programme at Glyndeborne, he was invited to conduct Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in 2012, and following this successful debut he was immediately invited back to conduct Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel the following year.

In the 2009/10 season, Ilyich Rivas made his professional debut in the US conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a summer festival concert, and in the same season made a hugely impressive debut with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Following successful performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and La Bohème at the Verbier Festival, Ilyich Rivas was subsequently awarded the Prix Julius Baer, a prize awarded by the Festival to a musician of exceptional talent.  He also made successful debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and travelled to Australia at the invitation of Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.  In 2011, he made his Royal Festival Hall debut with Lang Lang and the Youth Orchestra of Bahia and conducted the Youth Orchestra of the Americas on tour throughout Central America.

During the last few seasons, Ilyich Rivas’s career has continued to develop through highly successful debuts with the Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Euskadi Orchestra (Spain), Stuttgart Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia, NDR Hannover and Frankfurt Radio Symphony orchestras. 

In the 2015/16 season he will make his debut with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lyon, and the Saarbrucken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also return to conduct the Stuttgart Radio Symphony, the Suisse Romande Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In the 2014/15 season, Ilyich Rivas made his debut with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne and Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León.  He also made return visits to conduct the orchestras of the Royal College of Music in London, NDR Hannover, Swedish Radio Symphony and London Philharmonic.  During the 2012/13 season, Ilyich worked as Assistant Conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he made a highly impressive official debut at the Royal Festival Hall in March 2014.  In addition, in the spring of 2014, he also made a successful debut with Opera North conducting performances of La Bohème.

Season: 2015/16

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Reviews

"I see a great future for this young conductor. The LPO responded to his direction which is clear and unaffected and played outstandingly well."

Classical Source, March 2015 - Rachmaninoff: Inside Out

"Glyndebourne’s own orchestra…provides top quality playing, while the young Venezuelan conductor Ilyich Rivas makes every note of the score tell."

The Stage, October 2013 - Glyndebourne on Tour: Hansel and Gretel

"[… It] was balanced by a fine feel for texture and a gift for finding nuances in the quieter moments, particularly from solo instruments. […] Rivas revealed in the joy in the music, giving it a pulse and sweep that bordered on playful at times. […] But there’s no arguing with the results, which are impressive. The players evidently thought so too, tapping their batons for Rivas as he took his final bows. He is clearly a talent to watch."

Bachtrack, January 2014 - Prague Philharmonia

"Twenty-year-old Venezuelan conductor Ilyich Rivas ensures a glorious and moving account of this richly Wagnerian score."

Daily Mail, October 2013 - Glyndebourne on Tour: Hansel and Gretel

"Rivas is incredibly clear and accurate and shows exactly what he wants and directs huge orchestral forces with much confidence and efficiency. ^[Das Orchester, zumeist gestandene Damen und Herren aus der ersten Garnitur deutscher Orchestermusiker, folgte sehr aufmerksam und nahm die Hinweise des jungen Maestros bereitwillig auf. Ein wunderbar harmonisches Miteinander war das Ergebnis, eine engagiert erzählte Geschichte in Musik, die Gänsehaut verursachte, hervorgerufen durch eine herausragende Spielkultur. Die ermöglichte beispielsweise, dass knapp 50 Streicher so transparent und kammermusikalisch klangen wie ein Streichquartett, ohne auch nur im mindesten an Substanz und Tiefe zu verlieren.]"

Frankfurter Neue Presse, May 2013 - Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra

"We now have the phenomenon of Ilyich Rivas, 19 this year and already making a name for himself ... On the strength of his Royal Liverpool Philharmonic debut, he is strikingly, almost disconcertingly good ... we need to keep our eyes on him."

The Guardian, May 2012 - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

"Twenty-year-old Ilyich Rivas [...] conducts a glowing and warm performance, finding rich Wagnerian echoes in Humperdinck's wonderfully melodic score. With a maturity way beyond his years he draws glorious playing from the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra."

What's on stage, October 2013 - Glyndebourne on Tour: Hansel and Gretel

"Most exciting of all was the conducting of Ilyich Rivas: only 20 years old, he is clearly beguiled by the glowing colours and emotional density of this inexhaustibly beguiling score. Ah, youth!"

The Telegraph, May 2014 - Opera North: La Bohème