Simon Rivard is the RBC Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2018. In 2020, he was appointed Associate Conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Canada's largest choral organization.
Since 2019, Simon Rivard is an Equilibrium Young Artist, as part of Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan's internationally acclaimed mentorship program for early-career professional musicians. In September 2021, at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, he conducted the world premiere the chamber opera Penelope - in the first person by Gavin Hawk, with Barbara Hannigan in the title role. In October 2020, he conducted Barbara Hannigan and principal players of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a recording of Schoenberg for the famous All Saints’ Day concert.
At the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rivard is mentored by Music Director Gustavo Gimeno. In addition to leading concerts throughout the season, he has been assisting world-class conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, Donald Runnicles, Ludovic Morlot, John Storgårds, and Thomas Dausgaard. In December 2019, he made his debut in the regular subscription series in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 and Violin Concerto, with star violinist Daniel Lozakovich.
In 2021, he stepped in at the last minute in a critically acclaimed début with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and cellist Matt Haimovitz. He also recently
collaborated with celebrated Toronto-based opera company Against The Grain, in Gustav Holst’s chamber opera Sāvitri.
In 2018, he was invited to participate in the first Conducting Mentorship Program at the Verbier Festival Academy (Switzerland). In addition to being mentored by Valery Gergiev, he acted as assistant conductor to Sir Simon Rattle, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski and Gábor Takács-Nagy. At the conclusion of the Verbier Festival, he was awarded a Special Prize, to help him pursue his mentorship with maestros Gergiev and Noseda.
Simon Rivard is also passionate about choral music. In recent years, he has collaborated with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Associate Conductor), the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus (Conductor), the Ottawa Choral Society (Assistant Conductor & lead tenor) and the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (Assistant Conductor & tenor).
In 2017-18, Rivard served as Resident Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (Ontario, Canada). In 2017, he stepped in for Jean-Philippe Tremblay as Music Director of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, leading successful performances in Montreal, Quebec, Domaine Forget and Ottawa.
Born in Montréal (Québec), 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.