Peter Rubardt Biography
Peter Rubardt has earned wide acclaim for powerful and insightful performances that inspire passionate responses to symphonic music. Currently the Music Director of the Pensacola and Meridian Symphonies, this season he adds the title of Music Director of the Gulf Coast Symphony. Throughout his career he has worked successfully to broaden and deepen the relationships between communities and their orchestras, leading to growing audiences and a broad base of support. A gifted speaker about music as well as a performer, he actively engages audiences and community groups in the appreciation of symphonic music. Also busy as a guest conductor, Rubardt recently debuted with the Fort Worth Symphony, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and Japan’s Yamagata Orchestra.
Now in his nineteenth season as Music Director of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Rubardt continues to grow that organization through a wide range of classical, pops, and educational programs. He has played a central role in designing the orchestra’s innovative “Music as Service” program, partnering with a range of local organizations to bring music to hospitals, schools, and community centers around the community. Previously he was at the forefront of the effort that successfully renovated the historic Pensacola Saenger Theatre, giving the orchestra increased visibility and vitality. He also led a significant capital campaign for the orchestra, and played a key role in the creation of an hour-long documentary in collaboration with WSRE public television. His first two seasons in Meridian saw a sharp increase in concert attendance, an acoustical retrofit of the hall, a new symphonic pops event, and the introduction of a newly formed symphony chorus.
Prior to his appointment in Pensacola, Peter Rubardt served four seasons as Associate Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and three seasons as Resident Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducting numerous classical and pops performances, regional tours, and educational programs with both orchestras. 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 (where he performed for the Imperial Highness Princess Hitachi of Japan) and Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra and Nova Filarmonia Portuguese, with which he toured Portugal several times, as well as the orchestras of Acadiana, Anchorage, Annapolis, Bangor, Lubbock, Peoria, Portland, Quad Cities, Rogue Valley, South Dakota, Southwest Florida, Spokane, and Youngstown, among others. From 1991-1996, he served as Music Director of the Rutgers Symphony.
A native of Berkeley, California, Peter Rubardt holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from The Juilliard School, where he was the recipient of the Bruno Walter fellowship. A Fulbright scholar, he studied piano and conducting at the famed Vienna Hochschule fur Musik, and pursued further studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. He has participated in the masterclasses of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn and Herbert Blomstedt; his major teachers have included Otto-Werner Mueller, Sixten Ehrling, Michael Senturia and David Lawton. He was selected by the League of American Orchestras to perform in the National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony.
Peter Rubardt has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Rutgers University, and the State University of New York at Purchase. In addition to Juilliard 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. Rubardt has recorded for Pantheon Records International. He resides in Pensacola with his wife Hedi Salanki, a Distinguished University Professor in the Music Department of the University of West Florida, and their two children.