American conductor Kevin Rhodes has had a career marked by versatility and variety, and has been directing the SSO as Music Director and Conductor since the 2001 concert season.
American conductor Kevin Rhodes has had an exceptionally varied career spanning concerts, opera and ballet across the globe, having conducted in 15 different countries with approximately 50 different orchestras. He has been a presence in the major musical capitols of Europe for over 20 years, with credits including The Paris Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Berlin State Opera, La Scala of Milan, The Dutch National Ballet, The Verona Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, The New York City Ballet and many others. Rhodes is one of the most sought after conductors by the world’s major ballet companies and their orchestras. His work at many of those illustrious opera houses has been seen and heard throughout Europe in many televised appearances and all over the world with the introduction of cinema performances, in addition to a number of productions having been filmed for DVD.
Rhodes began his European career as a house conductor at the Basel Stadtheater in Switzerland. After Basel, he moved on to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf/Duisburg Germany as a First Kappelmeister leading hundreds of performances of the standard operatic repertoire from “Magic Flute” to “Der Rosenkavelier,” while at the same time serving as the principal ballet conductor of the Vienna State Opera, after a very successful debut season there with “Nutcracker” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Further engagements followed at many other opera houses and orchestras throughout the continent…Berlin, Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Naples, Verona, Milan, Paris, Stuttgart, etc. In total he worked for 10 years exclusively in Europe, where he led repertoire ranging from the operas of Richard Strauss, Verdi, Puccini, Massanet, Mozart, Smetena and many others to the major ballets of Prokofiev, Bartok, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Since returning to the U.S. in 2001 to take over the leadership of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts and Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, he has devoted himself to the building of those two ensembles, as well as attending to the many outreach and education activities of those institutions. Under his leadership, those ensembles and audiences have experienced tremendous growth and enthusiasm about classical music. With the start of the 2010-2011 season, he took the reins as Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston and has been invigorating that ensemble with his trademark energy.
The 2016-2017 season sees Maestro Rhodes making his debut with the National Ballet of Norway in Oslo for a production of “Don Quixote.” He is also returning to the Paris Opera for a triple bill of Balanchine masterpieces with music by Stravinsky, Brahms/Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky. Rhodes is very excited about returning to the Vienna State Opera for a major revival of Glazunov’s “Raymonda” 19 years after doing the last major revival of the work in 1997. In addition to that production, he will lead the annual Season Finale, a Nureyev Gala celebrating the famed dancer and choreographer’s life and work. He also is conducting for the Stuttgart Ballet performances of “Romeo and Juliet” in John Cranko’s legendary production. Rhodes began his professional conducting career at the age of 16 in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana. He received his B.M. in Piano Performance from Michigan State University, where he studied conducting with Maestro Leon Gregorian and earned his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Paul Vermel. For more information about Kevin Rhodes, visit www.kevinrhodesconductor.