CCM Navigation

CCM: About

CCM: About
An aerial view of the CCM Village campus at night.

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, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo; and 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 productions of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Music of Love and War, integrating students with Early Music guest artists and coaches.

From 1998-2008 Rivers served 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. Rivers serves as director of music for Hyde Park’s Knox Presbyterian Church, where his program has been cited by Cincinnati Magazine as "Best Church Music in Cincinnati."

Last season Rivers conducted the CCM Chamber Choir in CCM’s first complete performance of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil (Vespers) and a staged production of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. In 2017-18, Rivers conducts the CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia in J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor (November 4/5), the premiere of I Hear America Singing by Dale Warland, celebrating CCM’s 150th anniversary (February 11), and a Monteverdi Festival featuring concertato works from Madrigals Books V, VI, VII, and VIII and the Selva Morale e Spirituale (April 8).

In June 2018, Rivers leads the Knox Choir in the Fauré Requiem in Paris’ Madeleine Church. In June 2017, he conducted South Korea’s Suwon City Chorale and Orchestra in the Korean premiere of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Recent guest conducting includes Haydn and Mozart Missa Breves in Florence, Italy; 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. He has taught conducting, coached choirs, and presented lectures and masterclasses in Shanghai, China, Taipei, Taiwan and in South Korea. Rivers served as Artistic Director USA for the World Choir Games Cincinnati 2012.

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.