Renato Rivolta studied philosophy and music, the latter in the area of violin and flute performance, composition, and conducting at the Milan Conservatoire. He continued studying under such masters as Sandór Végh (chamber music at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), Franco Donatoni (composition), and Peter Eötvös (conducting). For 14 years, he played in Italy’s leading orchestras (La Scala, Turin Radio Orchestra, La Fenice) under conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Seiji Ozawa, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Leonard Bernstein. In extension of these experiences, he dedicated himself to conducting. Renato Rivolta’s special interest is in the music of our times. He has worked with Peter Eötvös since 1989 – first as his student, then as assistant. He also collaborated with Pierre Boulez, David Robertson, Markus Stenz, George Benjamin, Arturo Tamayo, Jonathan Nott, and Mark Foster.
He has presented contemporary music programmes at leading festivals including Ars Musica (Brussels), Time of Music (Viitaasari, Finland), Wien Modern, Musica (Strasbourg), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Festival (Lisbon), Milano Musica, Luciano Berio Festival at La Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Cité de la Musique Festival in Paris, BBC Festival in Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Berlin Konzerthaus, Archipel in Geneva, Présences in Paris, and Warsaw Autumn. He also conducted concerts in BBC’s Sounding the Century series, and performances by ensembles and orchestras such as the Ensemble intercontemporain (1996–1998 as assistant artistic director), Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Contrechamps Genève, Netherlands Brass Ensemble, 2e2m, Nieuw Ensemble, L’Itinéraire, Israel Contemporary Players (in close collaboration since 2000), KammerensembleN Stockholm, Orchestra della Toscana Florence, Radio France Orchestra, Tokyo Sinfonietta, North German Radio, Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Radio France Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and others. In 2009–11, he was main conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica della Valle d’Aosta, and since 2001, conductor of new music ensembles of the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana (OGI) at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. He also appeared as guest conductor at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala.
In 1994, he participated in a production of Stockhausen’s Gruppen at the Salzburg Festival; in 1997, conducted Berio’s Sinfonia at La Monnaie in Brussels; in 1999, a stage production of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in Paris. In the years 1992–98, he conducted the Ensemble Nuove Sincronie in Milan. He collaborated with such eminent composers as John Adams, George Benjamin, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Franco Donatoni, Luis de Pablo, Gérard Grisey, Luca Francesconi, Ivan Fedele, György Ligeti, Tristan Murail, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, as well as outstanding soloists, including Kim Kashkashian, Tabea Zimmermann, Enrico Bronzi, Gabriele Cassone, Marco Blaauw, Alessandro Carbonare, Nicholas Hodges, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Valdine Anderson, Anita Rachesvili, Lucy Shelton, and Ewa Pobłocka. Renato Rivolta is lecturer at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Paris, and the Scuola Civica di Musica in Milan, where he chairs the Conducting Department. He is also a composer with music performed in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Finland, Israel, and the United States.