Sixteen-year-old Ilyich Rivas Set To Lead Atlantic Symphony Orchestra At Encore Park 8/15

Sixteen-year-old rising star Ilyich Rivas will lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in his U.S. professional debut on Saturday, August 15, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Rivas will lead the orchestra in Verdi's Vespri Overture, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, performed by another rising star, 22-year-old violinist, and Sphinx Competition winner, Elena Urioste.

The 2009 summer classical season will conclude with a celebratory firework display by Pyrotecnico. Last year Mr. Rivas was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.

During the workshop, he made a significant impression on both Ms. Alsop and Mr. Meier. Following an audition with the BSO, he was was awarded the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow, beginning in September 2009. This position permits him to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Gustav Meier's guidance, and to work closely with the Baltimore Symphony alongside Marin Alsop and conducting the BSO on certain occasions.

His performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be his first public concert with a major orchestra. The evening will begin with a pre-concert "Top of the Lawn" conversation hosted by ASO Insider Ken Meltzer at 7:10 p.m. and, as with all of the ASO summer concerts at the Verizon Amphitheatre, audience members will have the opportunity to send questions to the musicians and guest artists to be answered from the stage during the interval.

Although the August 15 concert marks the end of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's six-concert summer classical series at the Verizon Amphitheatre, concerts continue at the venue through October.

The Amphitheatre - nominated by Pollstar Concert Industry Awards as 2008 "Best New Major Concert Venue" and "Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue," - serves as the outdoor home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The scope of Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park has brought a new dimension to the region's seasonal artistic offerings by featuring concerts with the internationally-recognized Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, leading popular presentations, as well as an emphasis on community events - including high school graduations, local fundraising events, and collaborations to create family-themed days, high school music concerts, and competitions.

The Amphitheatre ExperienceEach Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park offers table-seating in the main Orchestra section of the venue, reserved seating throughout the pavilion, and lawn seating. Complementing this seating variation is an experience influenced by the repertoire and theme of the Orchestra: Live on-site broadcasts, Top of the Lawn conversations, and themed cuisine allow audiences to create their own unique evening of enjoyment at the ASO's summer home.

Live On-Site Broadcast & Text-Message Questions from Audience The Atlanta Symphony continues the tradition of introducing members of the ASO to the audience with an evening-long live, on-site broadcast of the concert on large 15′x20′ screens, which are permanently affixed on either side of the stage. The live feed will include a pre-concert show, as well as live intermission interviews of guest artists and musicians from the Orchestra, fueled by text-message questions sent by the audience the night of the concert. Top of the Lawn Pre-concert Top of the Lawn events will continue in 2009.

ASO Insider and Program Annotator Ken Meltzer will take his pre-concert conversations to the tree-lined lawn of the Amphitheatre prior to each Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert at the venue. Ken's conversations with ASO musicians will take place at the top-center of the lawn, and include a Q&A with the audience. All Top of the Lawn events begin at 7:10 p.m. before each 8:00 p.m. ASO concert. Themed Cuisine Ovations, the on-site caterer for Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, will offer themed cuisine to complement the programming of all ASO concerts at the Amphitheatre. For the ASO's August 15th concert, a Season Finale themed picnic basket will accompany the regular fare offered at the venue.

The $30 picnic basket (which serves two people) will feature prosciutto-wrapped honeydew and cantaloupe; grilled chicken salad made with butter leaf lettuce; strawberries, pecans, and goat cheese served with champagne vinaigrette; and banana cream and fresh berry trifles. Concertgoers may also enjoy Star Fruit Salad (fresh fruit including star fruit) from the concessions the night of the concert. To pre-order a picnic basket, or to view the full menu available for each concert, visit the General Info/Food and Beverage section online at and-beverage.php. Family Four Pack The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is offering a Family Four Pack for this summer's classical concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. The Family Four Pack includes four General Admission Lawn Tickets, four Lawn Chair Rentals, four Food Baskets (e.g. four hot dogs, fries, sodas), and one Parking Pass for $75. For more information, visit

Ticket Information

Single tickets for Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre are now available to the public. Tickets remaining for Orchestral and Popular Concerts may be purchased at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office, located in the Woodruff Arts Center at 15th and Peachtree Streets. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Box Office Monday through Friday, noon to 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. To purchase tickets online, visit atlantasymphony.orgor

Tickets may also be purchased by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet, including Publix Super Markets. Saturday, August 15, 2009 (Rising Stars) - table, concert, and lawn seating: $21-$59 The Starbucks Free Parks Concert for the community will be a free event, but will require tickets. Details will be announced. Additional concert and ticket information for popular concerts will be announced.


Ilyich Rivas was born in Venezuela in 1993 into a very distinguished musical family - his father Alejandro Rivas is also a conductor and was, for a number of seasons, Music Director of the Metro State Symphony Orchestra in Denver. From when Mr. Rivas was a very young boy it was clear he had a natural talent for conducting, and he started studying with his father when he was just six years of age. Last year Mr. Rivas was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier.

During the course he made a very significant impression on both Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier, and this has resulted in him being awarded, after an audition in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow beginning in September 2009. This position permits him to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Gustav Meier's guidance, and to work closely with the Baltimore Symphony alongside Marin Alsop and conducting the BSO on certain occasions.

Each summer during the last few years, Ilyich has returned to Venezuela to conduct one of the youth orchestras in his own city, the Orquesta Simón Bolívar del Táchira. This summer Ilyich was invited by Glyndebourne Opera to attend rehearsals and performances at this year's festival and to be mentored by Vladimir Jurowski. Following Glyndebourne he also attended the first Verbier Festival Conducting Academy. On his return to the US in August, he makes his professional conducting debut, conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in one of their summer festival concerts.

Violinist Elena Urioste, recently selected by Symphony magazine as an emerging artist to watch, has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her rich tone, the nuanced lyricism of her playing, and her commanding stage presence. Since making her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen as winner of the Greenfield Competition, she has appeared as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States including the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Hartford Symphonies, as well as Hungary's Orchestra Dohnanyi Budafok.

First-place laureate in both the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition, Miss Urioste made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as a featured soloist in the inaugural Sphinx Gala Concert. Urioste has returned annually to that esteemed venue's Stern Auditorium as soloist, and has also performed in recital at Carnegie's Weill RecitAl Hall.

In 2009, she will make her debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with award-winning conductor Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. She has collaborated with acclaimed pianists Christopher O'Riley and Ignat Solzhenitsyn; conductors Robert Spano, Keith Lockhart, and Michael Stern; and violinists Shlomo Mintz, Cho-Liang Lin, and David Kim, among others.

A featured artist in the La Jolla, Sarasota, and Kingston Music Festivals, the International Young Artists Music Festival, and Switzerland's Sion Valais International Festival of Music, Miss Urioste has been most recently invited to participate in the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival next summer. Miss Urioste is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank and Ida Kavafian, and is currently pursuing graduate studies at The Juilliard School with Joel Smirnoff. Other notable teachers include David Cerone and the late Rafael Druian.

She is the past recipient of a Starling Foundation Scholarship at Temple University Music Preparatory Center for Gifted Young Musicians in Philadelphia, where she was a student of Choong-Jin Chang and Soovin Kim.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, currently in its 64th season, is one of America's leading orchestras, known for the excellence of its live performances, presentations, renowned choruses, and its impressive list of Grammy ® Award-winning recordings. The leading cultural organization in the Southeast, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra serves as the cornerstone for artistic development and music education in the region. Under the Creative Partnership of Music Director Robert Spano, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles, and President and CEO Allison Vulgamore since September 2001, the Orchestra and audiences together explore a creative programming mix, recordings, and visual enhancements, such as the ASO Theater of a Concert, the Orchestra's continuing exploration of different formats, settings, and enhancements for the musical performance experience.

Another example is the Atlanta School of Composers, which reflects Mr. Spano and the Orchestra's commitment to nurturing and championing music through multi-year partnerships defining a new generation of American composers. During its 31-year history with Telarc, the Orchestra has recorded more than 100 albums and its recordings have won 26 Grammy Awards in categories including Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral Performance, and Best Opera Performance.

The ASO Chorus has earned nine Grammy ® Awards for Best Choral Performance, most recently for the Berlioz Requiem in 2005. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs more than 200 concerts each year to a combined audience of more than a half million in a full schedule of performances which also feature educational and community concerts. A recognized leader and supporter of contemporary American music, the Orchestra recently received the 2007 award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. In addition, Music Director Robert Spano was named Musical America 2008 Conductor of the Year. With the opening of the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park ( in May 2008, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra became the first U.S. orchestra to annually perform and present in its concert hall, and in two amphitheaters. For 36 years, the Orchestra has also performed at the legendary Chastain Park Amphitheater, the award-winning
56,800 seat venue in Atlanta, during the ASO's annual Delta Classic Chastain concert series (

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD).

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