WSO Music Director candidates


Below are the eight candidates for Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. The candidates were chosen from 153 applicants by a Search Committee comprised of musicians from the orchestra, leaders of the Board of Directors, staff members, patrons and community members.

The 153 applicants represent 28 countries, including 30 Canadians and 63 Americans. Of the eight finalists there are two Canadians, one woman, and two who have guest conducted the WSO. The candidates will conduct the first eight performances in the WSO’s 2012-2013 concert season. Input from WSO musicians, Board members, subscribers, staff, and supporters will be solicited for each of the candidates during their visit. This process will ensure that the new artistic leader of the orchestra is also the best fit for our community. If all goes according to plan, the sixth Music Director in the history of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra will be announced early in 2013, and will serve as principal conductor for concerts during the 2013-14 season.

Robert Franz



Quick Facts

Nationality: American

Bachelor and Masters in Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts

Music Director, Boise Philharmonic
Associate Conductor, Houston Symphony Orchestra


As Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, and Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz’s appeal as a first-rate conductor, energetic educator and enthusiastic showman has been
acclaimed by critics, composers and audiences of all ages. Composer Bright Sheng has praised Franz for his “extremely musical and passionate approach towards music making”, and critics have hailed his “masterly pace, emphasis, and technical control” calling his
conducting “viscerally thrilling”.

Franz, in his fourth season as Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic, continues to make great strides in reaching out to the community with a mix of collaborations, world-class guest artists and solo performances by the orchestra’s principal players and ensembles. This season the Boise Philharmonic celebrates its 50th anniversary with Franz conducting world premieres by composers Jake Heggie and David Earnest. A champion of new music, Franz has conducted numerous world premieres and works by living composers. During his tenure, Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Shulamit Ran and Lawrence Dillon have been in residence with the Boise Philharmonic.

As Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz leads the Symphony with vibrant, athletic and entertaining direction in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts. Franz’s emphasis on these programs has led him to a continuing relationship with Radio Disney.

With a wide and varying knowledge of symphonic and operatic works, Maestro Franz has worked with some of today’s finest classical soloists, including James Galway, Joshua Bell and Rachel Barton, as well as top pops artists such as Chris Botti, Chaka Khan and Judy Collins. He has been invited to guest conduct orchestras throughout the United States, including the St. Louis Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Asheville Lyric Opera, Portland Symphony (ME), South Bend Symphony and the Idaho Falls Symphony. In addition to guest conducting the Virginia Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and Musiqa (Houston) this season, he will return to the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.


Robert Franz

ASCAP has recognized Franz on two occasions for his advocacy in arts education. Under his direction, both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008, and the Louisville Orchestra in 2001 were awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming. The Louisville Orchestra’s award led to the creation of an education program for Kentucky Educational Television entitled, Creating Music and Stories. Winner of the 2008 BPO/ECMEA Music Educators Award for Excellence, Franz is a strong supporter of arts education, and has created arts education programs for the Carolina Chamber Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, West End Chamber Ensemble and Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, including that organization’s innovative Bolton Research Project. As Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, he re-vitalized an ASCAP award-winning new music concert series, and served as co-host of In a Different Key, a weekly contemporary classical music radio program on WUOL.

The Idaho Education Committee recognized Franz’s passion for music education this March when they asked him to address the Idaho Legislation on the importance of music in education. Further strengthening his commitment to bringing music education to young people, Franz has authored his first children’s book with a CD entitled, Stella’s Magical Musical Tour of America. He hopes to introduce children to classical music by incorporating various musical excerpts intertwined throughout the story of a girl’s journey in a hot air balloon. This book will also be the theme of a Boise Philharmonic family concert in 2012.

In addition to his current posts, Franz served as the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio from 2003 to 2010, Resident Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 2005 to 2009, and Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra from 1997 to 2006. He has also led the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, Louisville Youth Orchestra and Winston-Salem Youth Symphony. He continues to serve as Music Director Emeritus of the Carolina Chamber Symphony, an orchestra that he founded, and provides educational programming workshops at the National Repertory Orchestra during the summer.

Franz received his Master of Music degree in conducting from the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1992, and his Bachelor of Music degree in oboe performance in 1990 from that same institution. He has participated in conducting workshops in the Czech Republic, St. Petersburg (Russia), Nashville and the Festival at Sandpoint, and was a participant in the 1997 National Conductor Preview.

When not on the podium, Franz is an avid runner and a proponent of the Alexander technique.

For more about Robert, please visit

Laura Jackson



Quick Facts

Nationality: American

Bachelor of Music, University of New Hampshire
Masters of Music, University of Michigan
Doctor of Music, University of Michigan
Aspen Music Festival
Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow, Tanglewood Music Center
American Conducting Fellowship, League of American Orchestras

Music Director, Reno Philharmonic Orchestra


Laura Jackson was appointed music director of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009 and conducts the orchestra’s master classics and pops series. She also maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor with orchestras across the United States and overseas, appearing in recent years with orchestras in Manila, Phoenix, North Carolina, Boca Raton, South Carolina, Reno Ballet, and Modesto, as well as in Atlanta, Detroit, San Antonio, Baltimore, Alabama, Sacramento, Toronto, Berkeley, and with the New World Symphony in Miami.

As music director in Reno, Laura has become known for elevating the quality of the orchestra and maintaining an active presence in the

Laura Jackson

community. She passionately supports the Reno Philharmonic’s educational programs, especially Celebrate Strings, which similar to El Sistema brings regular 4-day-per-week string instruction to underprivileged youth. Laura initiatived the orchestra’s first-ever commissioning program with composer-in-residence Sean Shepherd (now with The Cleveland Orchestra) and conducted the 2011 premieres of both his “Silvery Rills” and “Desert Garden.” She encourages community-based partnerships, most notably the Reno Phil and Nevada Museum of Art’s “Art +Environment” collaboration.

During her three years with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Conductor (2004–07), Laura led numerous performances including Young People’s Concerts, the Symphony 360º Series, Summer Classical Concerts, and two ASO Classical Subscription Series concerts. In 2005 she performed with the Colorado Symphony as winner of the Taki Concordia Fellowship.

Laura has also become an active speaker at business schools, especially for interactive workshops titled “Conducting as Leadership.” Her leadership sessions have become a regular component of the MBA
program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Laura studied conducting at the University of Michigan with
Kenneth Kiesler and attended the Tanglewood Music Center in 2003 as the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow. She has recorded with the Bournemouth Symphony in England as well as the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra.

For more about Laura, please visit

Steven Jarvi



Quick Facts

Nationality: American

Bachelor of Music, University of Michigan
Masters of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University
Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow, Tanglewood Music Center
Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar

Associate Conductor, Kansas City Symphony Orchestra
Music Director, Winter Opera, Saint Louis


Described as an “eloquent and decisive” conductor by the Wall Street Journal and praised for his “uncommonly expressive and detailed” performances by the Miami Herald, Steven Jarvi is recognized as one of Americas fastest rising conductors with an equal passion for the concert hall and the opera house. Mr. Jarvi is the Music Director of Winter Opera Saint Louis and returns to the Kansas City Symphony for his fourth season as Associate Conductor. Recently the winner of the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award, he came to Kansas City after several years as the Conducting Fellow with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach and as an Associate Conductor for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

As Associate Conductor, Mr. Jarvi leads the Kansas City Symphony in over 30 concerts each season including their Family, Young People’s and Pops concerts, Handel’s Messiah, selected classical performances and the popular Symphony in the Flint Hills. In his first season, he made his Classical Series debut after filling in on short notice with Violinst, Midori, as Music Director, Michael Stern awaited the birth of his second child. Jarvi returned the following season, after studying with principal members of the Vienna Philharmonic thanks to the support the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Career Grant, with a highly praised weekend of Viennese music featuring pianist, Simone Dinnertstein.

At the age of 21, Steven traveled to Austria at the invitation of Claudio Abbado for observation and study with the maestro and the Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Easter Festival. He was later selected by former New York Philharmonic Music Director, Kurt Masur, to appear on a concert with Masur at Manhattan School of Music as part of a week long master class. In 2005, as the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Steven was one of two conductors selected to study under Boston Symphony and Metropolitan Opera Music Director, James Levine, and conducted critically praised performances with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the Mark Morris Dance Group.

As a performer of new music, he has collaborated with many celebrated composers including Philip Glass, Henri Dutilleux, John Adams, John Zorn, Augusta Read Thomas, Steven Mackey, Adam Schoenberg, Jennifer Higdon and Leon Kirchner, has conducted at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music, and has lead performances at New York City Opera’s annual VOX Festival Showcasing American Composers. A frequent conductor with the New World Symphony, Steven has shared subscription concerts in Miami with Michael Tilson Thomas, Roberto Abbado, Marin Alsop, Mark Wigglesworth and Alasdair Neale, conducted on the NWS Charles Ives: In Context Festival and lead their Concerts for Kids and Symphony with a Splash.


Steven Jarvi

Upcoming and recent engagements include the Rochester Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, East Texas Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt. Mr. Jarvi has also served as a cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall and conducted the Helsinki Philharmonic as a competitor in the 3rd Sibelius International Conducting Competition in Helsinki, Finland.

Mr. Jarvi was the first conductor ever invited to be a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera, a position he was personally selected for by Plácido Domingo. He frequently collaborates with many of the finest singers in the world and is now the Music Director of Winter Opera Saint Louis. Steven has held conducting positions for over 30 opera productions with companies including the Washington National Opera, New York City Opera (where he served as an Associate Conductor for four seasons), Baltimore Lyric Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn and Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble.

Recent engagements include a Virginia Opera production of Orphée by Phillip Glass, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Ashlawn Opera Festival and La Boheme with Winter Opera Saint Louis.

Raised in Grand Haven, Michigan, Steven Jarvi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Michigan where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler, Martin Katz and Jerry Blackstone, along with a Master’s in Orchestral Conducting from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Gustav Meier.

For more about Steven, please visit

Cristian Macelaru



Quick Facts

Nationality: Romanian / Resident in America

Bachelor of Music, University of Miami
Master of Music in Violin Performance and Instrumental Conducting, Rice University
Conducting Fellow, Tanglewood Music Center
American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Music Festival and School

Assistant Conductor, Philadelphia Orchestra
Founder and Artistic Director, Crisalis Music Project, Texas


Philadelphia Orchestra Assistant Conductor Cristian Macelaru is also a violinist and composer whose accomplishments demonstrate his impressive capabilities as a multidimensional musician.

Mr. Macelaru began his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2010 -11 season and was then chosen to be the Assistant Conductor beginning in September 2011. He will conduct the orchestra in all of their education and family concerts, several non-subscription concerts, as well as assist Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit and several of the ensemble’s guest conductors. In addition to his work in Philadelphia, Mr. Macelaru will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony and assisting Andre Previn with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

During the 2010-11 season, Mr. Macelaru made his debut conducting the Houston Grand Opera in performances of Madama Butterfly. In previous seasons, he has conducted the Pittsburgh and San Diego Symphony Orchestras, Banatul Philharmonic, DaCamera of Houston, Syzygy ensemble, the Oberlin Orchestra and at the Sarasota Music Festival. He collaborated with Patrick Summers on the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as assistant conductor for the Dallas Opera, and was on the conducting staff of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music for three years.


Cristian Macelaru

A participant in both the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival’s conducting programs, he studied under David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with renowned teacher Larry Rachleff at Rice University where he received his Master of Music degree in conducting.

Mr. Macelaru started studying violin at the age of six in his native Romania. After winning top prizes in the National Music Olympiad (1994, 1996, 1997), he attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. He was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with them at the age of nineteen. Mr. Macelaru received a Master of Music in violin performance under the guidance of Sergiu Luca and played in the Houston Symphony’s first violin section for two seasons.
A strong supporter of music education, he has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony where he created a successful chamber music program. Mr. Macelaru was also the founder and artistic director of the Crisalis Music Project, an organization aimed at giving young musicians chances to perform side-by-side with professional musicians.

Mr. Macelaru currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and their son Beniamin.

For more about Cristian, please visit

Kevin Mallon



Quick Facts

Nationality: Irish, American, British / Resident in Canada

Artist Diploma, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England
Bachelor and Masters in Music, Dartington College of Arts, Devon, England
ARCM Violin Diploma, Chethams School of Music, Manchester, England

Artistic Director, Aradia Ensemble, Toronto
Music Director, Toronto Chamber Orchestra


With an impressive background that includes conducting studies with John Eliot Gardiner and composition with Peter Maxwell Davies, he trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and at Dartington College of Arts. Mallon learned his craft as a violinist with such orchestras as the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic, and later as Concertmaster with Le Concert Spirituel and Les Arts Florissants in Paris. With these groups he recorded extensively and toured the world. He has performed concerts all over Europe, including Vienna, London, Berlin and Paris, with appearances in Russia, the Baltic States, China, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

In 1996, Kevin Mallon formed and became the Music Director of the Aradia Ensemble. This vocal and instrumental group has achieved extraordinary success, with 40 recordings for Naxos, all of which have received international praise (including two British Gramophone Editors’ Choice Awards). The ensemble presents a regular concert series at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio and makes frequent tours in both Canada and abroad—being featured in 2000 at the New Zealand International Chamber Music Festival, in 2003 at the Musica nel Chiostro festival in Tuscany and to America in 2004. Most recently Aradia has become Orchestra in Residence for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), with Mallon conducting.

Although Maestro Mallon specializes in music of the Baroque period, he is much in demand, conducting a wide range of repertoire. As part of his recording contract with Naxos, he is Music Director of the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has already made fifteen recordings, one of which gained a Juno Award nomination for a Haydn Symphonies CD in 2009.


Kevin Mallon

Kevin Mallon led Toronto’s Opera in Concert in many baroque and classical operas: Handel’s Semele, Rinaldo, Tamerlano, and Giulio Cesare, Vivaldi’s Griselda, Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Mozart’s Zaide. He has also developed a specialty in Viennese Operetta, having conducted many performances for Toronto Operetta Theatre (Wiener Blut, Merry Widow and Count of Luxembourg).

From 2004–2009 Mallon was the Artistic Director of Opera 2005 in Cork, Ireland, formed to celebrate Cork’s designation as European Capital of Culture. This company flourished under his tenure, garnering three Irish Times Theatre Awards (Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera). The company also mounted productions of Bizet’s Carmen (2005), Weill’s Threepenny Opera (2006), Lehar’s Merry Widow (2007) and Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2007).

In 2009 Kevin became Special Projects and Touring Conductor for the Odessa Opera in Ukraine. Under his direction, productions of Don Giovanni and Carmen took place in Odessa as well as tours of Holland, Belgium and Spain.

In 2010 Kevin was invited to compose and arrange music for a new TV series – Camelot, another
innovative project by The Tudors production company.

Mr. Mallon looks forward to a busy schedule of upcoming Guest Conducting engagements both in Canada (Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Niagara Symphony, Windsor symphony) and internationally in Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the United States.

For more about Kevin, please visit

Eric Paetkau



Quick Facts

Nationality: Canadian

Bachelor of Music, University of Western Ontario
Performance Program in viola, University of Toronto
Master of Music, New England Conservatory
Aufbaustudium in viola, Hochschule für Musik, Munich Germany
Conducting Program, Tilburg Conservatory, Netherlands
Conducting Program, National Arts Centre Orchestra
Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting, University of Kentucky

Resident Conductor, Les Violons du Roy, Quebec
Founder and Conductor, Group of Twenty-Seven, Toronto


Conductor Eric Paetkau is known for his intense musicality, musical integrity, and vibrant performances. As Music Director and founder of group of twenty-seven and Resident Conductor of the Quebec-based Les Violons du Roy, Mr. Paetkau has displayed his gift for connecting with audiences and bringing the music to life in an electrifying way.

Since begining his tenure with Les Violons du Roy, Mr. Paetkau has been programming and conducting the Romantic, 20th Century, and contemporary repertoire, as well as much Baroque and Classical music. He has collobarated with soloists Catherine Perrin, Charlotte Corwin, Denis Plante, and Pacale Giguére, among others and has led the orchestra on tour a number of times, most recently to Ontario, New Brunswick, and all over the province of Quebec, in addition to concerts at their home hall, the Palais Montcalm, in Quebec

Eric Paetkau

City. He has conducted at a number of festivals including the Elora Festival, the Ottawa Music and Beyond Festival, and the Grand River Baroque Festival with soloists Aislinn Nosky, Guy Few, and Nadina Mackie Jackson.

Other highlights include leading productions of Stravinsky’s ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’ in Toronto, two years of orchestral and opera performances in Lexington, Kentucky, where he also founded the Lexington Chamber Orchestra, and a conducting residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Upcoming concerts for next season include Mr. Paetkau’s debut with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, a performance with the world-renown Canadian alto, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and a series of concerts presenting Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico with Les Violons du Roy.

Formerly a violist, Mr. Paetkau was a member of the Nuremburg Symphony in Germany, and played regularly with such orchestras as the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet, Les Violons du Roy, and Tafelmusik. He has performed around the world in such well-known venues as Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, among many others. He has also made many recordings on such labels as Virgin Classics, Dorian, Naxos, CBC and ATMA.

Mr. Paetkau received his early musical training in Canada with Lorand Fenyves and later with Steven Dann. He then continued his studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston and in Munich, Germany. Mr. Paetkau also studied conducting under Jac van Steen in the Netherlands and Kenneth Kiesler in North America.

For more about Eric, please visit

Kevin Rhodes



Quick Facts

Nationality: American

Bachelor of Music, Michigan State University
Conductor`s Course, Aspen Music Festival and School
Master of Music, University of Illinois

Music Director, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston
Music Director and Conductor, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts
Music Director and Conductor, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Michigan


American conductor Kevin Rhodes has had a career marked by versatility and variety. His work extends from the major opera houses of Europe to the concert stages of the U.S. He has collaborated with such diverse artists as Andre Watts, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, Peter Serkin, Glenn Dicterow and Lorin Hollander on the concert stage as well as being a regular guest at the top European opera houses such as the Paris Opera, La Scala and the Vienna State Opera.

In a career spanning several continents and over two decades, Rhodes has proven his expertise in the theater with dramatically diverse repertoire ranging from the operas of Richard Strauss (DieFrau ohne Schatten, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier), Verdi (Aida, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto), Puccini (Tosca, La Boheme), Massanet, Mozart, Smetena and many others to the major ballets of Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella), Bartók (The Miraculous Mandarin, The Wooden Prince), Stravinsky (Le Sacre de Printemps, Firebird), and Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty). On the concert stage his interpretations of Mahler, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Hindemith, Haydn and Dvořák just to name a few, elicit tremendous excitement and enthusiastic praise wherever he conducts.

This season he celebrates his tenth year as Music Director of both the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. His tenure at these orchestras has been marked by critical acclaim as well as sold out houses and unprecedented audience passion for classical music. He will make his debut this season with the Dutch National Ballet conducting the Holland Symfonia in an eagerly anticipated new production of Don Quichotte. He returns to the Paris Ballet for three productions, conducting nearly 50 performances with them, which comes on the heels of a highly lauded tour with the company to Australia in which he conducted the Queensland Symphony in 14 performances. He also returns to the La Scala Opera House for a production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Beginning with the 2010-11 season, Rhodes took the reigns as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Boston after making several appearances with the orchestra.
Since his professional debut in 1991 at the Stadttheater Basel, he has appeared with such illustrious orchestras as the Vienna State Opera Orchestra (the Vienna Philharmonic), the Berlin Staatskappelle, the Orchestra of La Scala, the Verona Opera House Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Delaware Symphony, the Düsseldorf Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Duisburg Philharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Colonne, the Orchestre of the Paris Opera, the Swiss Chamber Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, the Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo, and the Basel Symphony Orchestra among many others.

From 1991-2001 Rhodes, lived full time in Europe, first serving on the conducting staff of the Basel

Kevin Rhodes

Stadttheater in Switzerland (1991-96) and later as Kappelmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (1996-2001) in addition to functioning as Principal Ballet Conductor at the Viena State Opera (1995-2001). He also was the Principal guest Conductor of the Basler Festival Orchestra from 1997 to 2002 and Music Director of the Basel Chamber Philharmonic from 1995 to 2001. During that time he led more than 700 performances with more than 20 different orchestras. Since returning to the U.S. in 2001, Rhodes has maintained an active guest conducting schedule in Europe, continuing his activities in Vienna, Milan, and Düsseldorf, as well as making his debut at the Bastille Opera House in 2005, the Verona Opera house in 2006, the Naples Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo in 2007, the Orchestre de Colonne in 2008. In June 2009, he debuted with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Australia. Also noted for his artistry at the piano, Rhodes frequently appears in the dual roles as soloist and conductor playing and conducting Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue from the keyboard in addition to playing solo recitals and collaborating frequently with colleagues from both sides of the Atlantic in chamber music programs.

Kevin Rhodes began his 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. He continued his studies with Maestro Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival.

For more about Kevin, please visit

Scott Speck



Quick Facts

Nationality: American

Bachelor of Music, Yale University
Fulbright Scholarship, Hochschule der Künste, Berliner Kirchenmusikschule West Berlin, Germany
Advance Conducting Fellow, Aspen Festival and School of Music
Masters of Music, University of Southern California
Pierre Monteux School of Conducting, Maine

Music Director, Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Alabama
Music Director, West Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Music Director, The Joffrey Ballet
Principal Guest Conductor, China Film Philharmonic, Beijing


With recent performances in London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, Scott Speck has inspired international acclaim as a conductor of passion, intelligence and winning personality.
Scott Speck’s recent concerts with the Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky Hall garnered unanimous praise. His gala performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Evelyn Glennie and Olga Kern have highlighted his recent and current seasons as Music Director of the Mobile Symphony. This season he also collaborates intensively with Carnegie Hall for the seventh time as Music Director of the West Michigan Symphony. He was recently named Music Director of the Joffrey Ballet; and he was invited to the White House as Music Director of the Washington Ballet.

In recent seasons Scott Speck has conducted at London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Washington’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, and the Los Angeles Music Center. He has led numerous performances with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Chicago (Sinfonietta), Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Vancouver, Romania, Slovakia, Buffalo, Columbus (OH), Honolulu, Louisville, New Orleans, Oregon, Rochester, Florida, and Virginia, among many others.
Previously he held positions as Conductor of the San Francisco Ballet; Music Advisor and Conductor of the Honolulu Symphony; and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. During a recent tour of Asia he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing.

In addition, Scott Speck is the co-author of two of the world’s best-selling books on classical music for a popular audience, Classical Music for Dummies and Opera for Dummies. These books have received stellar reviews in both the national and international press and have garnered enthusiastic endorsements from major American orchestras. They have been translated into twenty languages and are available around the world. His third book in the series, Ballet for Dummies, was released to great acclaim as well.

Scott Speck

Scott Speck has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of Russia, broadcast throughout the world. His writing has been featured in numerous magazines and journals.

Born in Boston, Scott Speck graduated summa cum laude from Yale University. There he founded and directed the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, which continues to perform to this day. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin, where he founded Concerto Grosso Berlin, an orchestra dedicated to the performances of Baroque and Classical music in a historically informed style. He received his Master’s Degree with highest honors from the University of Southern California, served as a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen School of Music, and studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. He is fluent in English, German and French, has a diploma in Italian, speaks Spanish and has a reading knowledge of Russian.

For more about Scott, please visit

Read the briefing for the Music Director position