Meridian Star

February 1, 2013

MSO appoints new music director

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The Meridian Symphony Association, Inc., announced the appointment of Maestro Peter Rubardt to the position of music director and conductor of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra on Thursday at the MSU Riley Center.

    Rubardt is now in his 16th season as music director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. He initiated pops concerts, family concerts, and a series of chamber orchestra concerts in area churches, broadening the base of support and increasing the orchestra’s recognition throughout the community.

    He played a central role in the renovation of the orchestra’s home, the historic Pensacola Saenger Theatre, and spearheaded the organization’s recent endowment campaign.  In addition to his work in Pensacola, Rubardt’s recent debuts include the Fort Worth Symphony, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra (followed by an immediate reengagement), the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and Japan’s Yamagata Orchestra.

    Prior to his appointment in Pensacola, Rubardt served four seasons as the associate conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, which followed three seasons as resident conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the Utah Symphony, Louisiana, Rochester, and Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestras, the Louisville Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, Japan's Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, Century Orchestra Osaka, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra and Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra; among many others. From 1991-1996, he served as music director of the Rutgers Symphony.

    A native of Berkeley, Calif., Rubardt holds a doctor of musical arts degree in orchestral conducting from the Juilliard School. A Fulbright scholar in 1984, he studied piano and conducting at the Vienna Academy of Music, and pursued further studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. He has participated in the master classes of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn and Herbert Blomstedt, and his major teachers have included Otto-Werner Mueller, Sixten Ehrling, Michael Senturia and David Lawton. In 2005 he was selected by the American Symphony Orchestra League to perform in the National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony.

    Rubardt has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Rutgers University, and the State University of New York at Purchase. He has received awards and degrees in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of California at Berkeley. He has recorded for Pantheon Records International. He resides in Pensacola with his wife Hedi Salanki, a professor of music at the University of West Florida, and their two children.

    Rubardt will begin conducting the Meridian Symphony Orchestra with the 2013-2014 season opener.

    For more information, call the Meridian Symphony Association, Inc., at (601) 693-2224 or visit the MSO website www.meridianso.org.