Valéry Ryvkin has proven himself an artistic leader on the move, aligning the creative talents of artistic planning and superb music-making, alongside the goal of developing and fostering young talent.
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Ryvkin knew from a young age that music was his passion. He studied at the Leningrad State Conservatory of Music before deciding to immigrate to the United States to further pursue his love of music. Ryvkin continued his studies in the US at The Mannes College of Music and Juilliard. Ryvkin has gone on to work with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Theater Erfurt, San Diego Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. After having spent time as the Artistic Director of both Opera Santa Barbara and Greensboro Opera, Ryvkin has recently focused in on his desire to support and encourage young talent.
As Temple University Boyer College of Music's Associate Professor of Voice and Opera & Artistic Director and Conductor of Temple Opera, Ryvkin supported young singers' musical development and taught singers and accompanists alike to critically think about music and confidently perform. He worked with the faculty to program seasons that best fit the students' ranges, talents and interests and chose repertoire that fostered students' artistic growth.
Ryvkin's ongoing interest in supporting the development of young artists has led him to work in recent years with the University of Cincinatti, the iSing International Festival in Suzhou, China, LA Opera's Young Artist Program, Queens College, USC, UCSB, the Merola Young Artist Program, Opera San José, Pittsburgh Opera and more.
As Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara from 1999 until 2008, Ryvkin moved the company from a classy 'mom and pop' effort to a respected and highly cultivated institution, while also bringing to the company the concept of a Festival Season and helping them develop their first Young Artist Program. As a result of his creative leadership, Opera Santa Barbara was able to commission and premiere the first opera by composer Stephen Schwartz of Broadway fame - Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Pochahontas, Prince of Egypt . His organizational impact was equally felt as the Artistic Director of the Greensboro Opera, when, during his first season in 2005-06, he was personally instrumental in bringing the company it's very first $1,000,000 donation - a hallmark in the company's 25 year history.
On the guest conducting front, Valery Ryvkin continues to make a huge impression. During the 2013-2014 season, Ryvkin conducted the Schwabacher Concert for the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera,. Recently, he returned to Opera Santa Barbara to join in the celebration of the company's 25th anniversary. Ryvkin led the first Russian opera at the company, Eugene Onegin in 2019. He continues to return to the Southern California area to conduct the Palm Springs Opera Guild's annual Opera in the Park concert, and he returns to support the local opera community in Los Angeles, bringing world-class conducting to start-up musical projects.
Ryvkin has worked frequently with San Diego Opera, leading Boris Godunov for San Diego Opera while featuring no less than the Italian bass Feruccio Furlanetto as the Czar. He conducted a Night of Rising Stars concert at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. During the 2001 season, he led the North American premiere of Rimsky-Korsakoff's opera May Night at the Sarasota Opera, while taking on the huge responsibility for the complete preparation at the Metropolitan Opera of the production of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the personal request of Valery Gergiev.