“He can indeed make the cello sing like a human voice. His sensitive playing goes straight to the heart, it is of such beauty and purity that is rarely heard so perfectly.”
Gustav Rivinius is the first and only German musician to be awarded a First Prize Gold Medal at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In addition, he received a special prize for the best interpretation of a Tchaikovsky composition, outperforming all other competitors. Since then he has appeared with leading musicians, orchestras and conductors around the world.
Among the many highlights of an illustrious career, Gustav Rivinius has performed with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lorin Maazel, Ingo Metzmacher and Hans Zender. In celebrations marking the re-opening of the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, Gustav Rivinius joined the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Vaclav Neumann, and in a gala marking the 50th anniversary of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, where he has been invited back as soloist many times.
In the US, Gustav Rivinius has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and with orchestras in Saint Louis, Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and with the Houston Symphony. In Tokyo, he took the stage with the Moscow Philharmonic, in Seoul with the KBS Symphony Orchestra and in Beijing with the National Ballet Orchestra. He has worked together with conductors such as Marek Janowski, Christoph Eschenbach and Dmitri Kitajenko. He has also played alongside orchestras of Lisbon, Toulouse, Lyon, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Swedish Radio Orchestra, as well as in Lucerne with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. Gustav Rivinius has appeared with all of Germany’s radio symphony orchestras as well as with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, the Leipziger Gewandhausorchester and the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin.
Along with his solo work, Gustav Rivinius has a passion for chamber music. He plays regularly alongside his brothers in the Rivinius Piano Quartet and performs recitals with his brother Paul at the piano. Gustav Rivinius is also an annual participant in the Heimbach Spannungen festival, where he performs alongside his muscial friends Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas, Isabelle Faust and Sharon Kam, and in numerous festival CD recordings.
Rivinius founded the Gasparo da Saló Trio, the Bartholdy String Quintet and the Tammuz Piano Quartet, which recorded both piano quartets by composer George Enescu for the cpo label. This label also released Gustav Rivinius’ performance of the Cello Concerto by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari accompanied by the Frankfurt Radio Sympony Orchstra under Alan Francis, and Henze’s Ode to the West Wind featuring the RSO Saarbrücken conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewki was released by Arte Nova. Gustav Rivinius recorded the Brahms Clarinet Trio along with Sharon Kam and Martin Helmchen for Berlin Classics.
For many years Gustav Rivinius has been a Professor at the University of Music in Saarbrücken. He is cofounder of the Kammermusiktage Mettlach and thus has been influencing the musical landscape of his native Saarland for over 30 years. He teaches a number of masterclasses annually, including at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and is a regular juror at major music competitions and sat on the jury at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.