Meet the Maestro

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.

His work extends from the major opera houses of Europe to the concert stages of the US 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. In the US, in addition to serving as the Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony (MA) and the Traverse Symphony (MI) and principal conductor of the Pro arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Maestro Rhodes has guest conducted the Houston Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony (FL), the Canton Symphony (OH), the Queens Symphony (NJ) and many more.

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 US 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 2014-2015 season saw Maestro Rhodes returning to the Paris Opera for productions of “Nutcracker” throughout November and December as well as “Swan Lake” in March and April. He then returns to the Vienna State Opera in May and June for “La Sylphide” and the annual Nureyev Gala, a four hour event celebrating the life and career of the famed Russian dancer and choreographer on the occasion of his birthday. Kevin will made his debut this season with the Santa Fe Symphony in New Mexico. Having had his first positions after college in Albuquerque as the Music Director of the Civic Light Opera and professor of piano at the University of New Mexico, Maestro Rhodes particularly looked forward to revisiting that part of the world and making music there again.

Rhodes began his professional conducting career at the age of 16 in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana. He received his BM in Piano Performance from Michigan State University where he studied conducting with Maestro Leon Gregorian, and earned his MM in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Paul Vermel.

Guest Conducting
Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria 1995-2015
Paris Opera, Paris, France 2005-2015
New Tokyo City Philharmonic, Tokyo, Japan 2014
Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2014
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma, WA 2013
Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Windsor, ON 2012
Dutch National Ballet, (Het National Ballet) Holland Symfonia, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2010
National Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Bejing, China, 2010
La Scala, Milan, Italy, 2010, 2006-2007, 2005, 2003, 2001
Hartford Symphony Orchestra, 2010
Verona Opera, Verona, Italy, 2006-2007
Houston Symphony, Houston, Texas, 2007
Queens Symphony Orchestra, Queens, New York, 2006
Principal Conductor Chamber Orchestra, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2006, 2008
Symphony Orchestra Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 2006
Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf, Germany, 2005
Rurhgebiet Festival, Bochum, Germany, 2004
Canton Symphony Orchestra, Canton, Ohio, 2003
Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Wilmington, Deleware, 2003
Berlin State Opera, Berlin, Germany, 1999, 2000
Teato Real, Madrid, Spain, 2000
Zagreb Philharmonic, Zagreb, Croatia, 2000
Symphony Orchester Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1999,2002
Wuertembuergisches Staatstheater, Stuttgart, Germany, 1998
Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden,Germany, 1996, 1997, 1998
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville, Florida, 1997
Suedwestfaellisches Philharmonie, Germany, 1996, 1998, 2000
Positions Held
Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, Massachusetts Music Director, 2001-present
Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Traverse City, Michigan Music Director, 2001-present
Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Boston, Massachusetts, Principal Conductor, 2010-present
Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf/Duisburg, Germany, Kappelmeister, 1996-2001
Stadttheater Basel, Basel, Switzerland, Kappelmeister, 1991-1996
Basel Chamber Symphony, Basel, Switzerland, Music Director, 1995-2001
Swiss Chamber Philharmonic, Zurich, Switzerland, Music Director, 1999-2001
Basel Festival Orchestra, Basel, Swizterland, Principal Guest Conductor, 1997-2001
Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, Albuquerque, NM, Music Director, 1989-1991

Education
Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan Bachelor Degree – Piano Performance 1987
University of Illinois – Urbana, Illinois Master Degree – Orchestral Conducting 1989
Aspen Music Festival – Aspen, Colorado Conducting Seminar 1986, 1987

Meet the Maestro Meet the Maestro Meet the Maestro