Simon Rivard

RBC Resident Conductor and TSYO Conductor

Simon Rivard

Simon Rivard is one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 2017 “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. He is the newly appointed RBC Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. In 2019, he will make his début with Symphony Nova Scotia.

In 2018, he was invited to participate in the first Conducting Mentorship Program at the Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland). In addition to being mentored by Valery Gergiev and Derrick Inouye, he acted as assistant conductor to Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, and Gábor Tákacs-Nagy. At the conclusion of the Verbier Festival, he was awarded a Special Prize, to help him pursue his mentorship with Gergiev and Noseda.

In 2017/18, as Resident Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, he conducted over 30 concerts with the orchestra and chorus. Throughout the season, he was an advocate for collaboration with Indigenous artists as well as local arts organizations, and he received mentorship from Music Director Paul Haas. Also in 2017, he stepped in for Jean-Philippe Tremblay as Music Director of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, leading successful performances in Montreal, Quebec, Domaine Forget, and Ottawa.

Social transformation through music plays a significant role in his professional life. He has been associated with the Orchestre des jeunes de l'Ontario français—an orchestra for young francophones from all over Canada—since August 2017. He has also worked at the Fondation du Dr Julien, an organization offering free music lessons to socio-economically disadvantaged children in Montreal. In 2015, he travelled to a Haiti orphanage with a team of professionals to offer three weeks of music, arts, and theatre lessons to the children. 

He studied violin performance with Anne Robert and orchestral conducting with Raffi Armenian at the Montreal Conservatory of Music. He completed an MMus in Orchestral Conducting at McGill University under Alexis Hauser and Guillaume Bourgogne. He was also taught by Louis Lavigueur, Harold Farberman, Apo Hsu, Raymond Harvey, Johannes Schlaefli, Kenneth Kiesler, Jean-Philippe Tremblay, and Jean-Sébastien Vallée.

He received support from the Millennium Excellence Awards, Sibylla Hesse Foundation, Jeunesses Musicales Canada, McAbbie Foundation, Schulich School of Music (Wayne Riddell and Gerald Wheeler prizes), and Verbier Festival.

Current as of October 2018

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