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Rising Stars

Ilyich Rivas, conductor & Elena Urioste, violin

Saturday, August 15th, 2009« view all past events

Ilyich Rivas

Ilyich Rivas was born in Venezuela in 1993 into a very distinguished musical family – his father Alejandro Rivas is also a conductor and was, for a number of seasons, Music Director of the Metro State Symphony Orchestra in Denver. From when Ilyich was a very young boy it was clear he had a natural talent for conducting, and he started studying with his father when he was just six years of age.

Last year Ilyich was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. During the course Ilyich made a very significant impression on both Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier and this has resulted in him being awarded, after an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow starting in September 2009. This position permits Ilyich to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Gustav Meier’s guidance and to work closely with the Baltimore Symphony alongside Marin Alsop and conducting the BSO on certain occasions.

Each summer during the last few years, Ilyich has returned to Venezuela to conduct one of the youth orchestras in his own city, the Orquesta Simón Bolívar del Táchira. This summer Ilyich was invited by Glyndebourne Opera to attend rehearsals and performances at this year’s festival and to be mentored by Vladimir Jurowski. Following Glyndebourne he also attended the first Verbier Festival Conducting Academy. On his return to the US in August, he makes his professional conducting debut, conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in one of their summer festival concerts.


Elena Urioste

ELENA URIOSTE, recently selected by Symphony magazine as an emerging artist to watch, has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her rich tone, the nuanced lyricism of her playing, and her commanding stage presence. Since making her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen as winner of the Greenfield Competition, she has appeared as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States including the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Hartford Symphonies, as well as Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnanyi Budafok.

First-place laureate in both the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition, Miss Urioste made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as a featured soloist in the inaugural Sphinx Gala Concert. Urioste has returned annually to that esteemed venue’s Stern Auditorium as soloist, and has also performed in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2009, she will make her debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with award-winning conductor Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. She has collaborated with acclaimed pianists Christopher O’Riley and Ignat Solzhenitsyn; conductors Robert Spano, Keith Lockhart, and Michael Stern; and violinists Shlomo Mintz, Cho-Liang Lin, and David Kim, among others. A featured artist in the La Jolla, Sarasota, and Kingston Music Festivals, the International Young Artists Music Festival, and Switzerland’s Sion Valais International Festival of Music, Miss Urioste has been most recently invited to participate in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival next summer.

Miss Urioste’s media appearances include multiple performances on the popular radio programs From the Top and Performance Today, as well as on Telemundo. She has been featured in the Emmy award winning documentary Breaking the Sound Barrier, and in numerous magazines, including Symphony, Strings, Careers and Colleges, and Philadelphia Music Makers. Miss Urioste’s first CD was recently released on the White Pine label.

The 2007 first-prize winner of the Sion International Violin Competition, Miss Urioste was also awarded the audience prize and the prize for the best performance of the competition’s newly commissioned work.

Miss Urioste is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank and Ida Kavafian, and is currently pursuing graduate studies at The Juilliard School with Joel Smirnoff. Other notable teachers include David Cerone and the late Rafael Druian. She is the past recipient of a Starling Foundation Scholarship at Temple University Music Preparatory Center for Gifted Young Musicians in Philadelphia, where she was a student of Choong-Jin Chang and Soovin Kim.

The outstanding violin being used by Miss Urioste is a Michelangelo Bergonzi, Cremona, circa 1750, on extended loan through the generous efforts of Society for Strings, Inc., Meadowmount School of Music, from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King.

The season finale introduces two breakout prodigies with sky’s-the-limit potential. The 16-year-old Venezuelan conductor Ilyich Rivas, touted as perhaps the next Gustavo Dudamel — today’s conductor of the moment, makes his major American orchestra and professional debut conducting Tchaikovsky’s fiercely romantic Symphony No. 4, Verdi’s Vespri Overture, and Mendelssohn’s gorgeous Violin Concerto. The latter work is further illuminated by the 22-year-old violinist Elena Urioste, Junior and Senior Laureate of the prestigious Sphinx Competition for African-American and Latino student-musicians. Her 2008 debut album of sonatas by Beethoven and Janacek marked her as “an emerging artist to watch” in Symphony magazine.


Post-concert fireworks finale.

VERDI: Vespri Overture
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Ilyich Rivas, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin