Kevin Rhodes
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Celebrating twin 16th anniversary seasons as Music Director of Massachusetts’ Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Michigan’s Traverse Symphony Orchestra, KEVIN RHODES enjoys an exceptionally varied international career, leading concert, opera and ballet performances with over 50 orchestras in 15 countries. For a seventh season, he also continues as Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston.

In addition to dozens of performances with his orchestras in Boston, Springfield and Traverse City, Kevin Rhodes’ current season is highlighted by his debut engagement with Oslo’s Norwegian National Ballet, leading a production of Don Quixote. He also returns to the Paris Opera Ballet for a triple bill of Balanchine masterpieces set to scores by Stravinsky, Brahms/Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky and to the Stuttgart Ballet for performances of John Cranko’s immortal staging of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Of special note is Mr. Rhodes’ return to the Vienna State Opera for a major revival - after 19 years - of Glazunov’s Raymonda and the season-concluding Nureyev Gala, celebrating the famed dancer and choreographer’s life and artistry with soloists and guests from around the world.

Kevin Rhodes has been a presence in the major musical capitals of Europe for over two decades, leading major productions at the Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Dutch National Ballet, Verona Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. His work with many of these illustrious artistic organizations has been seen and heard throughout Europe via television appearances, around the globe with the introduction of cinema showings and on DVD recordings. In the United States, he has conducted the symphony orchestras of Canton, Delaware, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Queens, Santa Fe, Stamford and Tacoma, as well as the New York City Ballet.

Starting his European career as a house conductor at Switzerland’s Basel Stadttheater, Kevin Rhodes subsequently moving to Germany’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein as a First Kappelmeister in which capacity he led hundreds of performances of the operatic repertoire, from Die Zauberflöte to Der Rosenkavalier, while simultaneously serving as the principal ballet conductor of the Vienna State Opera. During his 10 years in Europe, he led repertoire ranging from the operas of, among many others, Strauss, Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Mozart and Smetana to the major ballets of Prokofiev, Bartók, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.

In 2001, Kevin Rhodes returned to his native United States to accept the music directorships of both the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, devoting himself to the artistic and organizational enhancement of the two ensembles, while closely attending to their numerous educational and community outreach activities. Under his leadership, these orchestras and their audiences have experienced tremendous growth and enthusiasm about classical music. With the start of the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Rhodes also accepted the reins of Principal Conductor of the Pro Arts Chamber Orchestra of Boston, invigorating the ensemble with his trademark energy.

Kevin Rhodes began his professional conducting career at the age of 16 in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Michigan State University, where he studied with Leon Gregorian, subsequently earning his Master of Music in Orchestra Conducting from the University of Illinois under the tutelage of Paul Vermel.

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra entered its 72nd year Saturday in Symphony Hall, playing music of Dvorak, Sibelius, and Bartok to an enthusiastic audience of 1687. Every member of the orchestra brought their ‘A game’ to the stage for the Bartok [Concerto for Orchestra], from tuba to piccolo. Rhodes made his way through the orchestra following the performance, indicating each of the winds and brass in turn, congratulating them for a job well done. And surely congratulations awaited Rhodes himself for keeping order in Bartok’s metrically shifting contrapuntal essays, for accompanying [Philippe] Quint exquisitely, ‘playing’ the orchestra like a giant piano and following the soloist’s every twist and turn, and for launching yet another promising season of -top-notch music-making.

THE REPUBLICAN (Springfield, MA)

At the Paris Opera, a tribute to Violette Verdy during a Balanchine evening [headline]
Throughout the evening, the Orchestra of the National opera of Paris displayed a magnificent cohesion under the baton of American conductor Kevin Rhodes.


New benchmark set [headline]
This was a flawless performance of this giant musical work [Verdi Requiem]. Rhodes was inspired, as he often is, but this one was a triumph – a stunning success. He obviously had an absolute understanding of this score and the musical sense that had to br drawn from it. Further, he conveyed to his players and singers –and so, to the audience – the intensity, power and beauty of this magnificent work.


Visceral Berlioz and luminous Rachmaninov highlight W.Va. Symphony concert [headline]
The West Virginia Symphony performed the final concert of its season-long search for a new conductor when the dynamic Kevin Rhodes led the orchestra in a wide-ranging exploration of music from the Romantic era. Rhodes found the right balance of visceral thrills and intellectual substance to make compelling Berlioz’s fevered autobiographical novel-in-music. The rhythmic accuracy and articulations were keen; the twirling answers from clarinets and brasses led to a thrilling conclusion that Rhodes drove to the tasteful edge of over-the-top.


Springfield’s Kevin Rhodes Impressive At the HSO Podium [headline]
Rhodes has a likeable presence. He demonstrated significant keyboard skill during his preconcert discussion and conducted with clarity and deep musicianship. After intermission we heard the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. This monumental work became a showcase for every section and many individual members of the Hartford Symphony, but the section trumpets, solo horn and section horns put on a clinic. Rhodes was at his best moving the grand gestures of this work. The recapitulation of the first movement was thrilling and the low brass voiced the theme from the second theme group with a focused sound and gorgeous color. The fourth movement is a case-study in the acceleration and very gradual deceleration of tempos. Rhodes took command of this level of motion and presented a series of relationships that was highly effective in making the finale a powerful and emotionally draining experience.

THE COURANT (Hartford, CT)

All evening, the Springfield Symphony responded to Rhodes’ passion. The violins in the beginning of the Liszt [Les Préludes], teamed for an exquisite unison passage that raised this orchestra’s level of virtuosity. And as in the past, the cello section performed with tasteful, warm balance all night. The most demonstrative emotion of the night followed the Ravel [Daphnis et Chloé] when, during his second curtain call, Rhodes thanked the appreciative crowd, then turned to acknowledge his new orchestra, applauded them and blew its members a kiss.


Springfield Symphony Orchestra ends 70th season; Kevin Rhodes signs three-year deal to remain as conductor [headline]
Rhodes and his colleagues gave a superb account of the piece [Rachmaninoff Symphony #3], from its odd, sinuous opening to the hurried A major flurry of its final measures. The SSO has now completed its traversal of the Rachmaninoff orchestral catalog, a signal accomplishment worthy of a 70-year celebration, and promising great things for its 71st season.

 THE REPUBLICAN (Springfield, MA)

9/11/2016 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Gershwin: Girl Crazy (overture)
Gershwin: Variations on I Got Rhythm
Gershwin: Second Rhapsody
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F
soloist: Ralph Votapek

9/18/2016 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Gershwin:Cuban Overture
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess (suite)
soloists: Laquita Mitchell, soprano
Robert Anthony Mack, tenor
Kenneth Overton, baritone
Gershwin: An American in Paris

9/24/2016 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Tchaikovsky: Festival Coronation March
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1
soloist: Fabio Badini

10/22/2016 (7:30pm)

10/25/2016 (7:30pm)
10/26/2016 (7:30pm)
10/27/2016 (7:30pm)
10/28/2016 (7:30pm)
11/1/2016 (7:30pm)
11/2/2016 (7:30pm)
11/3/2016 (7:30pm)
11/4/2016 (7:30pm)
11/5/2016 (7:30pm)
11/7/2016 (7:30pm)
11/9/2016 (7:30pm)
11/10/2016 (7:30pm)
11/11/2016 (7:30pm)
11/12/2016 (7:30pm)
11/14/2016 (7:30pm)
11/15/2016 (7:30pm)


Palais Garnier

Tchaikovsky: Suite #4
Stravinsky: Violin Concerto
Brahms/Schoenberg: Piano Quartet

11/19/2016 (7:30pm)



Symphony Hall

Brahms: Double Concerto
soloists: Mark Kaplan, violinist
Clancy Newman, cellist
Bruckner: Symphony #7

12/22/2016 (7pm)
12/26/2016 (2&7pm)
12/27/2016 (7pm)
12/30/2016 (7pm)
1/3/2017 (7pm)
1/8/2017 (4pm)


Wiener Staatsopera

Glazunov/Nureyev: Raymonda

1/14/2017 (8pm)


First Baptist Church in Newton (Newton Centre, MA)

Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 Trumpets
Grieg: Holberg Suite
Ibert: Divertissement
Bizet: Symphony in C

1/21/2017 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Mozart: Serenade #13
Mozart: Symphony #40
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5
soloist: Spencer Myer

1/29/2017 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Rossini: L’italiani in Algeri (overture)
P.D.Q. Bach: Concerto for Simply Grand Piano & Orchestra
soloist: Jeffrey Biegel
Mendelssohn: Symphony #4

2/18/2017 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Verdi: Aida (Sinfonia)
Verdi: Aida (Ritorna vincitor; O Patria mia)
soloist: Othalie Graham, soprano
Strauss: Salome (Dance of the Seven Veils)
Strauss: Die ägyptische Helena (Zweite Brautnacht)
Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Act III: Intermezzo)
Barber: Antony and Cleopatra (Give me some music; Death of Cleopatra)
soloist: Othalie Graham, soprano

2/26/2017 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Schubert: Lieder
soloist: Jeffery Norris, baritone
Schubert/Mahler: Death and the Maiden

3/11/2017 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture
Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
soloist: Yevgeny Kutik
Mendelssohn: Symphony #3

3/19/2017 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2
soloist: Spencer Myer
Bruckner: Symphony #6

4/8/2017 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Liszt: Prometheus
Saint-Saëns: La Jeunesse d’Hercule
Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
soloist: Washington Garcia
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol

4/23/2017 (3pm)


Corson Auditorium, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Pärt: Fratres
Beethoven: Symphony #9
soloists: Elaine Alvarez, soprano
Jayne Sleder, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Boyd, tenor
Mark Walters, bass
with NMC Grand Traverse Chorale

4/29/2017 (7:30pm)


Symphony Hall

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region
Beethoven: Symphony #9
soloists: Elaine Alvarez, soprano
Chrystal Williams, mezzo-soprano
Victor Ryan Robertson, tenor
Mark Walters, bass

5/6/2017 (7:30pm)


Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences (Charleston)

Massenet: Last Sleep of the Virgin
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #3
soloist Viktor Valkov
Liszt: A Faust Symphony

5/7/2017 (3pm)


The Blennerhassett School (Parkersburg)

Massenet: Last Sleep of the Virgin
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #3
soloist Viktor Valkov
Liszt: A Faust Symphony

5/19/2017 (7pm)
5/22/2017 (7pm)
5/23/2017 (7pm)
5/26/2017 (6pm)
6/1/2017 (7pm)
6/5/2017 (7pm)
6/7/2017 (7pm)
6/9/2017 (7pm)
6/10/2017 (2pm)


Oslo Opera House

Minkus: Don Quixote

6/13/2017 (7:30pm)
6/17/2017 (7:30pm)



Prokofiev/Cranko: Romeo and Juliet

6/18/2017 (pm)


Wiener Staatsopera

“Nureyev Gala”

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (various excerpts)

Teatro alla Scala (Milan, Italy)

Glazunov: Raymonda

Opéra National de Paris (Palais Garnier)

Minkus: Don Quichotte

Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam Muzietheater)

Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty (Act III Pas de Deux)

Teatro alla Scala (Milan, Italy)

Strauss: Rosenkavalier Suite (Final Waltz)

Basler Festival Orchester (Switzerland)

“Behind the Music with Kevin Rhodes”

Debussy: Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune
Poulenc: Gloria
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts)
May 7, 2011

“Behind the Music with Kevin Rhodes”

Duparc: Aux étoiles
Barber: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphony #2 in e
Springfield Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts)
October 2, 2010

Kevin Rhodes: co-hosting “Mass Appeal”

WWLP-22 News (Springfield, MA)
July 5, 2013

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