Chicago native Benjamin Rivera began his career as a singer, performing as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus for more than 20 seasons. He also sang with Chicago a cappella, the Grant Park Chorus and several other ensembles, appearing as a soloist on numerous programs and singing on dozens of recordings.
He gradually transitioned to full-time conducting and now holds positions in three states. Rivera is the chorus director and regular conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and he has appeared multiple times as guest chorus director of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago and guest music director of Chicago a cappella. He also serves as choirmaster of the Church of the Ascension and High Holy Days choir director at Temple Sholom in Chicago, both featuring fully professional ensembles.
After one season as associate conductor of the Washington (D.C.) Chorus, during which he prepared the chorus for performances at the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap, he joined the conducting staff of the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 2018. Rivera was named chorus master of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company in 2019, and he recently made his debut as guest chorus director of Music of the Baroque in a concert at Millennium Park.
Especially adept with languages, Rivera frequently coaches in German, Spanish and Latin, among others. He holds degrees in voice and music theory from North Park University and Roosevelt University, respectively, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Northwestern University. Rivera lives with his family in Beverly, a neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago.