Andrés Rivas

assistant conductor

Photo by Matt Dine

Born in Caracas in 1990, Andrés Rivas commenced his musical journey at the age of three at the ‘Centro Académico Montalbán,’ a part of the El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela.

In October 2010, Mr. Rivas marked his international debut at the auditorium of EWA University in Seoul, South Korea. In 2011, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel handed him the baton at the inauguration of the National Center for Social Action for Music and the 36th anniversary of El Sistema in Venezuela. Months later, he shared the podium with Maestro Dudamel at a tribute concert for Venezuelan composer Juan Vicente Torrealba, conducting two of his works: Concierto a Caracas and Suite Torrealbera. Closing the year, he conducted the same orchestra at the Casa da Música theater in Oporto, Portugal.

As a violinist, Mr. Rivas has collaborated with global soloists like Martha Argerich, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Ilya Gringolts, Maurice Hasson, Natalia Gutman, Gabriela Montero, Alexander Romanovsky, Andreas Ottensamer, and Albert Markov. He has performed under the baton of conductors including the late Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Esa Pekka Salonen, JoAnn Falletta, James Bagwell, Leon Botstein, and John Williams.

Since 2008, Mr. Rivas has participated in numerous international tours with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela, covering countries like Austria, Japan, South Korea, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Croatia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, Trinidad and Tobago, France, London, Scotland, and Spain. Invited by Maestro Dudamel in 2009, he served as assistant conductor during a national tour throughout Venezuela, conducting works by Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and others. In 2012 he debuted in Vienna, conducting in a concert-style Proms at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

In 2013, Mr. Rivas played a role in the creation of the bi-national orchestra South Korea–Venezuela, where he conducted the orchestra by invitation from doctor and founder of El Sistema, Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu. In 2014, upon Leon Botstein’s invitation, he participated in Bard College’s prestigious Conductor’s Institute. Starting a graduate degree in Orchestral Conducting at Bard under Harold Farberman in 2015, he undertook an assistant conductor role at the annual Bard Music Festival. Completing his studies at Bard College in 2017, he secured the only offered place at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in their MMus/MA Orchestra Conducting program. The next year, he won the Miami Symphony Orchestra’s Conducting Fellowship and Apprenticeship under Eduardo Marturet.

Mr. Rivas has played a pivotal role in organizing benefit concerts aimed at supporting communities and individuals in need. His commitment extends to various regions, particularly focusing on countries facing socio-economic challenges, such as Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, and beyond.

In 2021, Mr. Rivas led the Empire State Youth Orchestra in New York. In January 2023, he directed the York Philharmonic Orchestra for a Beethoven festival. The same year, he assumed the role of a cover conductor responding to a personal request from the Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, MAestra Xian Zhang. Furthermore, he has been recognized standing out as one of three final candidates among an impressive pool of over 80 applicants for the prestigious Colton Conducting Fellowship under the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. 

Mr. Rivas has also led orchestras both as concertmaster and guest conductor at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fisher Center at Bard, Wiener Musikverein, Beethoven Hall, Gothenburg Concert Hall, National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Ravello Festival, and Flanders International Festival, among others.

Presently, Mr. Rivas serves as the assistant conductor for The Orchestra Now and the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra.

Andrés Rivas will conduct The Orchestra Now on March 3, 2024. He previously conducted TŌN on November 20, 2022; March 19, 2022; March 7, 2021; November 14, 2020; September 19, 2020; and September 12, 2020.

Bio: October 2020