Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Classical Cello

Gustav Rivinius


Gustav Rivinius (born 1965) is the first and only German musician to be awarded a first prize Gold Medal at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He also received a special prize for the best interpretation of a Tchaikovsky composition, out-performing all other competitors. Since then he has appeared with leading musicians, orchestras and conductors around the world. At Conservatorium Maastricht, he teaches Cello in the Classical Music department.

Among the many high points of his illustrious career are performances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lorin Maazel (Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme), Ingo Metzmacher (B.A. Zimmermann’s Cello Concerto, Pas de Trois) and being conducted by Hans Zender in a performance of Zender’s Cello Concerto Bardo, which he also premiered. In celebrations marking the reopening of the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, Rivinius joined the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vaclav Neumann, performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto. At a gala marking the 50th anniversary of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the cellist performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, accompanied by Antje Weithaas and Lars Vogt and conducted by Horst Stein. Gustav Rivinius has often appeared as a soloist with the orchestra and toured with it throughout Germany, performing Martinu’s second Cello Concerto, conducted by Manfred Honeck.
In the US, Gustav Rivinius has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marek Janowski (Schumann Cello Concerto) and with orchestras in Saint Louis, Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and the Houston Symphony under Christoph Eschenbach (Variations on a Rococo Theme). He has also played extensively in Canada, including concerts with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sergiu Comissiona (Haydn Concerto and Strauss, Don Quixote) and performed the Dvorak Concerto with the London Philharmonia under Heinrich Schiff. In Tokyo, he took to the stage with the Moscow Philharmonic, conducted by Dmitri Kitayenko, and in Seoul he played the Elgar Concerto with the KBS Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Christie. In Beijing, Rivinius performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the National Ballet Orchestra. He has also played alongside orchestras of Lisbon, Toulouse, Lyon, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Swedish Radio Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev. He went on a concert tour in Switzerland performing the Honegger Cello Concerto, finishing up in Lucerne with the Schumann Cello Concerto. He was accompanied in both by the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich under David Zinman.
Gustav Rivinius has appeared with all of Germany’s Radio Symphony Orchestras including Berlin’s RIAS, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester and the Konzerthaus Orchester. He performed the Triple Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, accompanied by the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig under Thomas Dausgaard. In 2010 he performed the same piece along with Veronika Eberle and Lars Vogt with the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, conducted by Alan Gilbert.
Apart from his solo work, Gustav Rivinius has a passion for chamber music. Having been born into a large musical family, he regularly plays with his brothers in the Rivinius Piano Quartet and gives recitals with his brother Paul on the piano. For years, he was part of a quintet with Irena Grafenauer, Maria Graf, Ana Chumachenco and Gérard Caussé.
Gustav Rivinius is also an annual participant in the Heimbach Spannungen festival along with his friends Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Angje Weithaas, Isabelle Faust and Sharon Kam. He can be heard on numerous CDs featuring pieces performed at this unique and offbeat festival.
The musician also founded the Gasparo da Saló Trio, the Bartholdy String Quintet and the Tammuz Piano Quartet, which has recorded both piano quartets by composer George Enescu for the CPO label. CPO has also released CDs featuring Gustav Rivinius’ performance of the Cello Concerto by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, accompanied by the HR Sympony Orchstra under Alan Francis, and a recital of Ode to the West Wind with the RSO Saarbrucken, conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewki (Arte Nova). Gustav Rivinius recorded the Brahms Clarinet Trio with Sharon Kam and Martin Helmchen for Berlin Classics. He also made a recording of the Cello Concerto by Witold Lutoslawski with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, conducted by Ari Rasilainen.
Gustav Rivinius is a lecturer at the HFM University of Music in Saarbrucken where he is responsible for a highly successful cello class. He also teaches a number of masterclasses every year, including at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. In addition, he is a sought-after juror at major music competitions and was on the jury of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.