Simon Rivard is one of the most sought-after conductors on the Canadian music scene, as evidenced by his most recent appointment as Music Director of the Edmonton Opera. Since 2018, Simon has been the TSVC Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
The 2023/24 season sees Simon on the podium with I Musici de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Laval, and l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, while leading the Edmonton Opera’s full season, which includes Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Wagner’s Das Rheingold. He will also collaborate with Toronto-based chamber ensemble The Happenstancers and soprano Elizabeth Polese in music by Elliott Carter, John Cage, Lukas Foss, and Olivier Messiaen.
In 2022/23, Simon made his début with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre classique de Montréal, and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, while being re-engaged with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke, and serving as assistant conductor to Barbara Hannigan at Orchestre philharmonique de Radio-France. As a guest conductor, he has joined orchestras across North America and Europe, such as Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, he was also a finalist of the Princess Astrid International Music Competition of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (Norway).
From 2018 to 2022, he held the title of RBC Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he was mentored by TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno and Sir Andrew Davis. Since 2019, he has been an Equilibrium Young Artist, as part of Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan’s internationally acclaimed mentorship program for early-career professional musicians. In 2018, he was invited to participate in the first Conducting Mentorship Program at the Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland), where he was mentored by Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, and Gábor Takács-Nagy. In addition to receiving a Special Prize, he was subsequently reinvited to coach the 2022 Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.
Born in Montréal, Rivard studied violin performance with Anne Robert and orchestral conducting with Raffi Armenian at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. He completed an MMus in Orchestral Conducting at McGill University under Alexis Hauser and Guillaume Bourgogne.