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October 12, 2009

Video of 16-year-old Ilyich Rivas, recipient of BSO/Peabody Conducting Fellowship

In Sunday's paper, I had a story about Ilyich Rivas,  the exceptional 16-year-old, Venezuelan-born recipient of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship. He's clearly a talent to watch.

Not many teens have high-profile management. Rivas is represented by IMG Artists, on the same roster that includes the likes of Temirkanov, Gilbert, Previn, Honeck, Flor, Welser-Most and Jurowski. Rivas has already made his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut and is bound to get other interesting opportunities, even while pursuing his studies at Peabody (he's in the graduate conducting class, just a few months after earning a GED to put high school behind him) and gaining further experience at the BSO.

It's impossible to predict any one's career, but all the signs look promising for Rivas. He not only has obvious and engaging talent, but also the marketing-ready back-story and looks to go far in today's music business. 

Here's a taste on video of Rivas in action as a child and a teen, followed by a clip of his father, Alejandro Rivas, who is also a gifted conductor, and a major mentor for his son:  

Posted by Tim Smith at 1:42 PM | | Comments (2)


First Dudamel, and now Rivas. What's in the Venezuelan waters these days?

(I simply _must_ also mention the Venezuelan Eduardo Chibás, an advertising executive _and_ conductor -- not to mention a big proponent of Bruckner and Wagner in his native country! -- who bears no relation to the former Cuban politician, Eduardo René Chibás _Rivas_. I googled the one and found the other... That's _almost_ scary!)

Seems like that country has a lot more going for it musically than politically. TIM

That makes my day! THRILLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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