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 high points of an illustrious career, Gustav Rivinius has performed 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 was conducted by Hans Zender in a performance of Zender’s Cello Concerto “Bardo”, which he also premiered. In celebrations marking the re-opening of the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, Gustav Rivinius joined the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vaclav Neumann, performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. In 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). Gustav Rivinius has also appeared widely 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 the stage with the Moscow Philharmonic, conducted by Dmitri Kitayenko and in Seoul the Elgar Concerto with the KBS Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Christie. In Beijing, Gustav 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.
Along with his solo work, Gustav Rivinius has a passion for chamber music. Having been born into a large musical family, he plays regularly alongside his brothers in the Rivinius Piano Quartet and does recitals with his brother Paul at the piano. He participated for years in 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 Arkas Trio, the Bartholdy String Quintet and the Tammuz Piano Quartet, which 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 along with the RSO Saarbrucken, a recital of “Ode to the West Wind”, conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewki (Arte Nova). Gustav Rivinius recorded the Brahms Clarinet Trio along with Sharon Kam and Martin Helmchen for Berlin Classics. And he made a recording of the Cello Concerto by Witold Lutoslawski along with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, conducted by Ari Rasilainen.
Gustav Rivinius is a professor at the HFM University of Music in Saarbrucken where he oversees a highly successful cello class. He also teaches at the Maastricht Conservatory and a number of masters courses annually, including at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. In addition he is a sought after juror at major music competitions and sat on the jury at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 2016 he was awarded the „Kunstpreis des Saarlandes“.