Ilyich Rivas was born in 1993, and has already developed a very impressive conducting career. The Venezuelan-American conductor made his professional debut at the age of 16 in front of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has subsequently made successful debuts with a number of important orchestras in Europe and the US, including the London Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia. In addition, he has conducted the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the orchestras of London’s Royal College of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, Brazil.
During the 2012/2013 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, returning with them to the same venue in 2015. In 2011 Ilyich travelled to Australia at the invitation of Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. In 2009 after an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Ilyich was awarded the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting fellow. This two-year position enabled him to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of Gustav Meier and to work closely with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony.
Recent highlights include his debuts with the Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Auckland Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, as well as performances at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, and return visits to the Swedish Radio Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Forthcoming highlights include his debut performances with the Brno Philharmonic, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Cameristi della Scala, a chamber orchestra comprising musicians from the orchestra of Milan’s prestigious Teatro alla Scala.
Ilyich Rivas is also developing a notable expertise as an Opera conductor. Following a three year mentoring programme under Vladimir Jurowski at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, he was invited to conduct Le nozze di Figaro in 2012, and following this successful debut he was immediately invited back to conduct Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel the following season. In the spring of 2014, he made an impressive debut with Opera North conducting performances of La Boheme, and future highlights include his debut with the Netherlands Reisopera in La Traviata.
Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family, and studied conducting from an early age with his father Alejandro Rivas, an orchestral conductor himself, who continues to be his principal guide and mentor. Ilyich has been awarded the Bruno Walter Conducting Prize and the Prix Julius Baer in Switzerland, given by the Verbier Festival to a musician of exceptional talent.