Ulster Youth Orchestra Ulster Hall


Guest Artists 2023

Guest Conductor - Ilyich Rivas

Venezuelan-born American conductor Ilyich Rivas made his professional debut at the age of 16 in front of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has subsequently made successful debuts including the London Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia.

Ilyich Rivas worked as Assistant Conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, culminating in his official debut in their subscription series at the Royal Festival Hall. He was also awarded the two-year position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting fellow, studying conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of legendary pedagogue Gustav Meier, and working closely with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony. He was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, and has additionally gained significant experience with young players and student ensembles, having conducted the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the orchestras of London’s Royal College of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Youth Orchestra of Bahia, Brazil.

Highlights of recent seasons include his debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Auckland Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Enescu Philharmonic, Israel Symphony, Poznan Philharmonic, Norrkoping Symphony, Uppsala Symphony, Brno Philharmonic, Cameristi della Scala, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, as well as performances at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover. More recent engagements include his hugely successful Paris debut with the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France at the Paris Philharmonie, and also the National Symphony Orchestra (formerly RTE) in Dublin.

Ilyich Rivas has also developed a notable expertise as an operatic conductor. Following a three year mentoring programme under conductor Vladimir Jurowski at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, he was invited to conduct full productions for Glyndebourne on Tour of Le nozze di Figaro and Hänsel und Gretel in consecutive seasons. He made an impressive debut with the UK’s Opera North conducting performances of La Boheme, and recently debuted with the Netherlands Reisopera in a country-wide touring production of La Traviata.

Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family, and studied conducting from an early age with his father Alejandro Rivas, an orchestral conductor himself, who continues to be his principal guide and mentor. Ilyich has been awarded the Bruno Walter Conducting Prize and the Prix Julius Baer in Switzerland, given by the Verbier Festival to a musician of exceptional talent.

Barry Douglas - Piano Soloist

Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland, the only all-Ireland orchestra and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. 

In January 2021 Barry Douglas was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to music and community relations in the 2021 New Year Honours List. 

Michael McHale - Piano Soloist

Belfast-born Michael McHale has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading pianists and has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.

In 2017 Michael was invited to become a Patron of the Ulster Youth Orchestra, and in 2018 he was appointed lecturer in piano for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the MTU Cork School of Music in Ireland.   

Michael collaborates regularly with Sir James Galway, Michael Collins, Patricia Rozario, Dame Felicity Lott, Wigmore Soloists and Camerata Pacifica. 

Rehearsal Conductor - Daniel Hogan

Daniel Hogan is a 26-year-old British conductor who is currently concluding his Masters in Conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded a full scholarship and studied with Toby Purser, Peter Stark and Howard Williams. In September 2023 he will commence his Professional Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music with Sian Edwards.

In Summer 2022, Daniel was an active participant in the Järvi Conducting Academy, having been selected from over 200 candidates. He was taught by Paavo, Kristian and Neeme Järvi, and Leonid Grin. In concert, he conducted the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and also the Järvi Academy Youth Orchestra in the Pärnu Concert Hall. In Summer 2023 he conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in their Emerging Conductor’s Concert, and he will also conduct the Moravian Philharmonic in Olomouc, the Czech Republic. Daniel is mentored privately by Martyn Brabbins and Christopher Seaman, and has also taken part in masterclasses led by Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko, Jac van Steen, Ryan Bancroft, Rafael Payare, Colin Metters, Ben Gernon and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Professionally, he has assisted for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and English Symphony Orchestra, and has recently recorded the Schumann Violin Concerto with Laure Chan and Sinfonia Perdita in Abbey Road Studios. He is Music Director of the Kew Sinfonia and Chorleywood Orchestra, and in the 2022/23 season makes his debut with the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra and Haydn Chamber Orchestra.

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