San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty member, Kevin Rivard
  1. Faculty

Kevin Rivard



  • Applied Lessons
  • Horn Studio
  • Brass Chamber Music


  • BM, The Juilliard School


  • San Francisco Opera, Principal
  • San Francisco Ballet, Principal
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Guest Artist)


  • Winner, International Solo Competition of Paris
  • Winner, Horn Competition of America
  • Soloist with Houston Symphony

What is your hometown?

St. Petersburg, FL

What is your favorite recording?

Currently, it's the 1966 recording of Walküre with the Vienna Phil, Solti, and Birgit Nilsson.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Spending time with my children.

Who were your major teachers?

Julie Landsman and Carolyn Wahl.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"When you're practicing slowly, you're still going too fast!"

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

"Where would I like to be by the time my degree is finished?" (As opposed to "Where do I think I'll be?")

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

Seventh grade — preparing and performing Franz Strauss’ Nocturno in a master class for Eric Ruske.

What was a turning point in your career?

There have been many, but winning my first job with the Florida Orchestra, and soloing with the Houston Symphony are two that stand out.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I’m not entirely sure, but I imagine there would be an opera playing on the radio in the background.

What is your daily practice routine?

I do 40 minutes of Carmine Caruse-inspired long tones and flexibility exercises, followed by more such exercises, followed by 60-90 minutes of etudes, and then 60-90 minutes of solos. The timings are all relative to what my workload is at the Opera or Ballet. If I'm playing Lohengrin that night, it's usually only the first hour of exercises. All practices are spread out over the day.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mozart. Wagner. Brahms.