Born 24 July 1993 in San Juan, he pursued his studies at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music where he studied under the supervision of guitarists Luis E. Juliá and Alberto Rodríguez Ortiz. He also studied composition with various professors such as Manuel Ceide, Carlos Cabrer and William Ortiz. After completing his studies in Puerto Rico, John traveled to Italy to study with composer Luca Cori in Milan and with guitarist Oscar Ghiglia at the Incontri chitarristici di Gargnano.

During his career as a performer, John has dedicated himself to the study and interpretation of contemporary music. He has been responsible for the commission and premier of works by Rafael Aponte Ledée, Carlos Carrillo, Alberto Rodriguez Ortiz, Carlos Cabrer and William Ortiz. In 2015 he recorded his debut album titled Fronteras, a CD dedicated to the music of contemporary composers from Puerto Rico and Cuba. In December 2018 he made his debut as guest soloist with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra with Maximiano Valdés as conductor interpreting Manuel Ponce's Concierto del Sur.

As a composer, his works have been performed in Puerto Rico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, El Salvador, the United Kingdom and the United States by groups such as the Soundscapes Festival Sinfonietta, Lontano Ensemble, North South Consonance and the El Salvador Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2019 he was awarded the Anthony and Susan Chow Scholarship, which gave him the opportunity to continue his graduate studies in composition at the King’s College London under the supervision of Silvina Milstein and Edward Nesbit. He graduated with distinction from said institution and was awarded the Adams Prize in Music for his compositon Memorias de un Paraíso Perdido.

Among his current projects is his recently formed duo with the world renowned classical guitarist Dieter Hennings. Duo Contradanza originated with the purpose of exploring new avenues of repertoire outside the conventional classical guitar duo canon. Hennings and Rivera Pico started collaborating at the SoundSCAPES new music festival in Italy and have joined forces to commission new works and celebrate new pieces written since the last quarter of the twentieth century.


John currently resides in England, where he pursues his doctoral degree at the Universtiy of Birmingham under the supervision of Michael Zev Gordon and Ryan Latimer with the support of a scholarship awarded by the Department of Music.