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Born in Venezuela in 1993, Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family.  His father Alejandro Rivas was for a number of seasons the Music Director of the Metropolitan State Symphony Orchestra in Denver.  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.  Since the summer of 2009, Ilyich Rivas has 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

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Born in Venezuela in 1993, Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family.  His father Alejandro Rivas was for a number of seasons the Music Director of the Metropolitan State Symphony Orchestra in Denver.  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.  Since the summer of 2009, Ilyich Rivas has 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.  This has resulted in him making his debut in 2012 conducting Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and a subsequent return in the autumn of 2013 to conduct Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel

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 made a hugely impressive debut with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.  In the 2010/11 season, Ilyich Rivas was again invited by Glyndebourne Opera to continue the mentoring programme and he returned to Verbier to make a significant debut conducting the Festival Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, as well as a semi-staged performance of La Bohème.  Following this success, Ilyich Rivas won the Prix Julius Baer, a prize which is awarded by the Verbier 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 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 the spring of 2014, he also made his debut with Opera North conducting performances of La Bohème.

Recent and future engagements/debuts have included the Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Euskadi Orchestra (Spain), Stuttgart Radio Symphony, NDR Hannover and Frankfurt Radio Symphony orchestras.  In the 2014/15 season, Ilyich Rivas makes his debut with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Prague Radio Symphony, Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and Janacek Philharmonic.  He also makes return visits to conduct the orchestras of the Royal College of Music in London, NDR Hannover, Swedish Radio Symphony and London Philharmonic.

Season: 2014/15

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Reviews

"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