Julie Rivers has received special awards from ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers every year from 1998 through 2010. In March of 2003, she was named the Honored State Composer of Kansas by the Kansas Federated Music Clubs. She was also recognized by the Kansas Arts Commission with one of four state Fellowship Awards for composition. She won first place in the nation in the National League of American Pen Women composition contest in April 2002, in San Francisco, with music from her recording, The Kiss of the Sun, and in 2006 in Denver, CO, and again in 2008. She had won first place in the same contest in April 1998, in St. Petersburg, Florida, with music from the CD One Starry Night.
Called a “treasured Kansas artist” by Linda Graves, former First Lady of Kansas, pianist Julie Rivers has been on the Kansas Musical Artists Touring Program each year since 1980. She was also a pianist for the fifteen-state Heartland Arts Fund roster of touring artists, and has performed with the Texas Touring Program and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For many years, Julie performed highly acclaimed duo-piano concerts with pianist James Rivers. They were recognized by critics and audience members alike for their “power, emotion, total togetherness and brilliant technique.”
Julie Rivers is one of seventeen pianists selected nationwide for a recording commemorating and benefiting the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedies. The HeartAid Project released the CD including Julie’s composition, When the Sun Goes Down, on the Spring Hill label on 9/11/2002.
With the EarthStar Recordings release of her first album of original music , One Starry Night, pianist/composer Julie Rivers captured the hearts of new and old fans alike with her luxuriantly romantic music of the night. Her three previous recordings of the music of Eugénie Rocherolle, also in the modern romantic style, continue to be favorites of adult contemporary listeners, and are featured in record outlets and on radio stations nationwide.
The world premier of The Kiss of the Sun, much-anticipated sequel to One Starry Night, celebrating the dazzling romance of the day, was held at the Topeka Performing Arts Center in Topeka, KS. It was a multi-media event with singers, dancers and featured soloists. Christmastide is a quietly beautiful Christmas album, and As Far As the Heart Can See, inspired by the tallgrass prairies of Kansas, is her latest original album. Music from As Far As the Heart Can See was featured as background to films about Kansas at the Kansas Museum of History.
New Age Voice Magazine featured tracks from One Starry Night and The Kiss of the Sun in their CD Samplers included in the mailings of the national publication. Her music has been in the Airwaves Top 100 of NAV Magazine, with airplay on stations from Cambridge, MA to Florida, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Hawaii, and many more, including requests for her music from Romania, Holland and Taiwan.
Radio Kansas selected four of her original albums for rotation on their popular program, Nightcrossings, and two of her albums were listed simultaneously on the Hastings Books Music and Video “Top Ten.” A feature story about Julie appeared in Bryggen Magazine, Sweden.
A native Texan, Julie Rivers made her debut as piano soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under a Rockefeller grant. The daughter of a Swedish immigrant, she began playing the piano at age two. Her earliest training began at age five at Texas Wesleyan University and later at the Fort Worth Conservatory of Music.
At the University of North Texas, where she graduated with high honors, she won all awards offered to pianists by the School of Music. She was Top Coed on Campus and listed in Who’s Who in Keyboard Music and Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She was a student of noted Austrian pianist, Stefan Bardas. She has twice been listed in Outstanding Young Women of America.
Julie has performed with the Saint Louis, Dallas, Oklahoma, San Angelo, Abilene (TX), Lawton, North Arkansas and Topeka Symphonies, among others. She has performed at the Texas Round Top Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival, in addition to many regional touring engagements.
Julie Rivers was selected for inclusion in the book, The World of Women in Classical Music, (publication 2007) by Dr. Anne Gray of La Jolla, California. She is also included in the Who’s Who in Entertainment, the Millennium edition of Who’s Who of American Women, the Millennium Edition of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. Julie performs solo piano concerts, performances with her trio, The Starry Night Trio, and as guest soloist with symphony orchestras. She lives in Topeka, Kansas, where she composes, performs, records and teaches. She has two adult sons.