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The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is pleased to announce composer Kyle Rivera as the fourth recipient of VCCA’s Anne Spencer Fellowship, established in 2017 in honor of Harlem Renaissance poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer.

As the 2023 Anne Spencer Fellow, Rivera will spend a month in residence at VCCA and will participate in a community event in partnership with the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum.

“I am incredibly excited to join the artist community at the VCCA,” says Rivera. “It is an honor to be selected as this year’s Anne Spencer Fellow. I cannot be more grateful for the opportunity to devote the next month to creating music and being immersed in a community of creatives.”

During his VCCA residency, Rivera plans to devote his time to creating a new orchestral work that will be performed this fall at Yale University. Rivera says, “The piece will be part of my recent explorations of racial identity, language, and chaos as means of liberation.”

On Monday, August 28, 2023, at 3 p.m., Rivera will present his work at the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum. The event is free and open to the community.

Kyle Rivera, 2023 Anne Spencer Fellow


The ever-evolving artistic perspective of Kyle Rivera makes his music a space for intrigue and exploration. Kyle is fascinated by visual imagery in sound. He views sound and time as malleable objects with which he sculpts vivid sonic landscapes. Kyle often draws upon the diverse sound and cultural environments he grew up in to craft the soundscapes of his music.

He is a freelance composer and MM student at the Yale School of Music and earned a BM in Music Composition and Viola Performance from the University of Houston with a Minor in Kinesiology. His principal teachers were Katie Balch, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Dr. Rob Smith. He has also studied composition with Jimmy Lopez, Reiko Fueting, Pierre Jalbert, Christopher Theofanidis, Martin Bresnick, and David Ludwig. Kyle has participated as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, the Fresh Inc Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival. He has collaborated with the Houston Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Musiqa Houston, Fifth House Ensemble, KINETIC Ensemble, the AURA Contemporary Ensemble, Houston Grand OperaCo, Opus Illuminate, 10th Wave Chamber Music Collective, the Chelsea Music Festival, Bent Frequency, and Toolbox Percussion.

Event Venue

Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum
1313 Pierce Street
Lynchburg, Virginia