Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orford Arts Center
Quebec conductor Jean-François Rivest is renowned for his energy, his extremely precise technique and his style, which is passionate, moving and deeply involved. His discography serves as proof to the ease with which he masters a large variety of musical genres ranging from the baroque era up to today.
In the fall 2009, he was named artistic director of the Orford Arts Centre, nearby Montréal where he now presides over the destiny of the OAC's prestigious Academy and International Festival. His first season was a great success and considered by all a year of great artistic renewal. He has been artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval and of Ottawa's Thirteen Strings Ensemble, as well as conductor in residence of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, (OSM) from 2006 to 2009, where he developed a privileged relationship with Kent Nagano..
Jean-François Rivest firmly believes that the next generation of musicians must rely on performers that are also active as pedagogues. He has worked for several institutions and has been teaching orchestral conducting as well as a variety of advanced performance classes at Université de Montréal since 1992. He is the founder, artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre de l'Université de Montréal (OUM).
Mr. Rivest, who trained at the Conservatoire de Montréal and at the Juilliard School in New York, quickly established himself as one of the foremost Quebec violinists of his generation. His main teachers were Sonia Jelinkova, Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay.
Being the father of four children, family is at the center of his life. He is passionate about nature and outdoor activities, such as scuba diving, kayak, climbing, trekking and photography. He has even participated in several expeditions of a challenging level. Jean-François Rivest believes that the many facets of nature are a vital source of artistic inspiration!