BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow: Ilyich Rivas, 15

BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow
Ilyich Rivas, 15, a talented young Venezuelan-born conductor will be the second recipient of the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, a two-year program designed to support the musical and leadership development of today’s young conductors. Beginning in September 2009, the fellowship program entitles the recipient to a two-year, full tuition scholarship to the Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins University. Born in 1993, Mr. Rivas has been studying conducting with his father Alejandro Rivas (also a Venezuelan conductor who is currently music director at Metro State Symphony Orchestra in Denver) since the age of six.
Mr. Rivas was selected this year as one of seven participants from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. At 15, he has already served as guest conductor with several major orchestras, including the Orquesta Simon Bolivar del Tachira of his native Venezuela. Also a concert pianist, he was recently awarded first place in the Yamaha and Kawai Piano Competitions in Colorado, featured at the 2008 Metropolitan State College of Denver Piano Celebration and at the Universidad del Tachira in San Cristobal, Venezuela. Mr. Rivas is currently in eleventh grade at the Denver School of the Arts where he is a piano major and assistant conductor of the school’s chamber orchestra.
Music Director Marin Alsop, who actively shapes the program agenda, remarked, “Ilyich has such a natural ability that cannot be taught. He innately feels the music and that resonates with audiences when he conducts. I look forward to working with him.”

“It’s not often that I am privileged to attend as extraordinary an event as Ilyich Rivas’s audition with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” says Jeffery Sharkey, Director of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. “Ilyich demonstrates rare talent for such a young man, and great maturity and potential as a conductor. The unique Peabody-BSO collaboration is one of the most exciting platforms in America for training the next generation of conductors. We look forward to welcoming him to Peabody and to our continuing work with Marin Alsop and the BSO.”

About the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship Program
Beginning in the 2007-2008 season, the BSO with Music Director Marin Alsop and the Peabody Institute with Gustav Meier, in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, launched its Conducting Fellows Program, a collaborative endeavor modeled after the League’s American Conducting Fellows Program, established in 2002. This marked the first partnership of its kind in the country between a conservatory and a symphony orchestra. The Baltimore partnership is a unique two-year program designed to provide exceptionally talented conductors in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to hone their skills before assuming a role with a professional orchestra. In conjunction with the initial partnership team, the BSO and the Peabody Institute, the League has played an important guiding role in helping the two institutions develop a comprehensive program agenda and curriculum, and also assisted with evaluations of the program during the pilot period. Benefits of the conducting fellowship include continuous on-site training with the BSO and academic studies at Peabody and Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Gustav Meier, head of the conducting faculty at Peabody, will serve as the fellowship’s primary academic instructor. At the end of the two-year program, which begins in September 2009 and concludes in August 2011, Mr. Rivas will receive a post-graduate Artist’s Diploma in Conducting from the Peabody Institute.

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