‘The fresh air swept into the hall with this engaging young Venezuelan, who jogged onto the platform, had perhaps the clearest beat of any conductor I've seen in the past year and led the way through the pieces with some fairly extraordinary freeze-frame gestures that are certainly unusual yet seemed to work a treat. He let the music's passion, beauty and visceral élan sing out to his and our hearts' content. Particularly impressive was the way he handled gear-changes with smooth assurance, maintaining an impeccable sense of timing, and ultimately - best of all - leaving us marvelling at the wonders of the music, first and foremost … It may be a cliché to say "history in the making" - but honest, guv, we don't say such things too often.’
Jessica Duchen (blog), 8 March 2014
‘The Venezuelan led this attractive mix of pieces with confidence, visual enthusiasm and interpretative individuality … Rivas and the LPO offered an exemplary partnership for Simon Trpčeski, who brought much freshness to familiar Tchaikovsky. It was Trpčeski’s fantasy and delicacy that compelled the listener, a lightness of touch and a non-percussive way with fortissmos that spoke of true musical artistry and which illuminated persuasively the solo part's potential for discretion.’
Colin Anderson, Classical Source, 8 March 2014
'Throughout the concert there were a number of outstanding solo contributions. Oboist Ian Hardwick, flautist Katie Bedford and first cello Kristina Blaumane along with leader, Vesselin Gellev, performed beautifully, lifting this concert to another level. Add to this an orchestra on fire and a conductor with boundless energy and talent, and you have a golden combination.'
Renée Reitsma, Bachtrack, 11 March 2014
Royal Festival Hall 2013/14
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Ilyich Rivas makes his LPO debut
JTI Friday Series
Dvořák Scherzo capriccioso
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich Symphony No. 1
Ilyich Rivas conductor
Simon Trpčeski piano
London Philharmonic Orchestra
The date of the premiere of his First Symphony – 12 May – would become a date of lifelong celebration for Shostakovich. The Symphony heralded a new beginning for Russian culture. Shostakovich remained proud of it all his life, a confident, individual and striking piece that you’d hardly guess was the work of a teenager. Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto changed Russian music, too – appearing in its profusion of celebratory major keys a charming counterbalance to the darkness that underlay the Russian psyche. More symphonic than Schumann’s and more sweeping than Liszt’s, Tchaikovsky’s Concerto has also proved more popular than almost any other.
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