CCM Navigation

CCM: About

CCM: About
CCM Village on the University of Cincinnati campus.

Directory - Faculty & Staff

< Back to list

Earl Rivers

Title: Professor of Music; Director of Choral Studies
Office: 113 Dieterle Vocal Arts Cntr
Tel: 513-556-9419

Earl Rivers’ graduate conducting program has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the U.S.A.’s leading programs. He has conducted CCM’s forces in acclaimed regional premieres of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls and El Niño, J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Bastian Clevé’s film The Sound of Eternity, Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew, Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 - Requiem, Bardo and Nirmanakaya, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo. At CCM he has also produced and conducted acclaimed American university premieres of staged productions of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, and Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake. He has championed Early Music at CCM with successful productions of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Music of Love and War that integrated students with Early Music guest performing artists and coaches.

Rivers served for 20 seasons (1998-2008) as music director and conductor of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, championing new works, hosting visiting composers, and developing lasting artistic partnerships with Cincinnati arts organizations and children’s choirs. Rivers serves as director of music for Hyde Park’s Knox Presbyterian Church, where his Knox Choir has commissioned and premiered 11 new works and has been acclaimed by Cincinnati Magazine as "Best Church Music in Cincinnati."

This past season at CCM, Rivers conducted J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, Mondonville’s Dominus Regnavit and Handel’s Dixit Dominus, the latter featured at ACDA’s February 2016 Chicago Convention. He completed The Shakespeare Quadricentennial, CCM’s two-year commemoration of the playwright's legacy through choral music, with CCM Chamber Choir premieres of three newly commissioned works on Shakespeare texts by composers Judith Bingham, Dominick DiOrio and Jake Runestad.

In 2016-17 Rivers conducts the CCM Chamber Choir in CCM’s first performance of the complete Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil, the greatest a cappella work of the early 20th century (November 6, 2016, Cathedral Basilica, Covington, KY); and a staged production of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (April 9, 2017, Christ Church Cathedral).

In spring 2016 Rivers guest conducted Haydn and Mozart Missa Breves in Florence, Italy, and gave coachings, lectures and masterclasses in Shanghai, China. Recent guest conducting includes the Mozart Requiem in Vienna; J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor with South Korea’s Chang Won City Chorale and Orchestra; the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece; Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Mass with South Korea's Inchon City Chorale; Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and John Rutter’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall; and a residency and concerts at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China. Rivers served as Artistic Director USA for the World Choir Games Cincinnati 2012. In June 2017 he will conduct South Korea’s Suwon Civic Chorale and Orchestra in the South Korean premiere of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. He will also present masterclasses and teach conducting in Seoul.

Rivers has received Choral America’s Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Choral Art, honoring a lifetime of significant contributions to the professional choral art, and Chorus America’s Director Laureate Award, an honorary title recognizing an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and has had significant impact on the choral field.


  • BME and MM, Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, IN.
  • DMA, CCM.