Biography & Curriculum Vitae
About Kevin Rhodes
Maestro Kevin Rhodes has been a presence in the world’s musical capitols for over three decades leading performances at some of themost prestigious institutions including La Scala of Milan, The Vienna State Opera, The Paris Opera, The Rome Opera, The Berlin State Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, The Dutch National Ballet, The Korean National Ballet, The Slovenian National Opera and Ballet, The Slovak National Opera and Ballet, The Deutsche Oper am Rhein, among many others. Equally at home in opera, concert, and ballet Mr. Rhodes has distinguishedhimself with an exceptionally large and varied repertoire having conducted over 60 orchestras in more than 20 countries.
Currently in his 23rd season as Music and Artistic Director of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, Rhodes has also served as Chief Conductor of the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, Principal Ballet Conductor of the Vienna State Opera, Music Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in MA for a record 20 years, and Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston.
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.
The 2022-2023 season was an especially active one for Rhodes, leading over a hundred performances of productions including Aida, Carmen, Turandot, Rusalka, Lied von der Erde, Swan Lake, Giselle, Berg Violin Concerto, La Bayadére and others in Rome, Bratislava, Milan, Ljubljana, Oslo, in addition to leading his 22nd season as Music Director/Artistic Director of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, USA.
The 2023-2024 season includes four productions at the Slovenian National Theater in Ljubljana, including “La Bohème” and “Rite of Spring”. He will make his debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and later in the season he joins that company on tour in Madrid, Spain. He returns to Teatro alla Scala for the much heralded production of Nureyev’s “La Bayadére” and tours with the company in “Swan Lake” in Italy. Return engagements in Oslo and Rome round out his theatrical season, while Rhodes will make his debut with the orchestra of Trieste in concert in September 2023.
Kevin Rhodes began his European career as a house conductor at the Basel Stadttheater in Basel, 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 which followed 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 2001 Rhodes took over the leadership of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts and Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. He 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 experienced tremendous growth and enthusiasm about classical music. His tenure in Springfield was a landmark 20 years, and he continues with the Traverse Symphony with a contract extending his leadership to 30 seasons. With the start of the 2010-2011 season, Rhodes began working as Principal Conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston and has been invigorating that ensemble with his trademark energy. Maestro Rhodes has also guest conducted the Houston Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony (FL), the Canton Symphony (OH), the Queens Symphony (NJ) and many more.
Back in the United States, 2018-2019 Rhodes had many exciting collaborations and concerts with his three orchestras including notably the 75th Anniversary of the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra with gala performances of works like Copland’s 3rd Symphony and Mahler 2, “The Resurrection”. He also initiated such projects as the “Real Time Concert Notes” in Springfield, a concept whereby audience members who are so inclined may sit in a certain section of the hall and receive directly to their phone on a special app, information about the piece timed along with the music performance. He also began a project, which will continue beyond the 2018-2019 season, of guiding the audience through a survey of American women composers, bringing during this first season in Springfield works from 5 of the leading lights of current composition. This theme will also be carried over into his work with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. In Traverse City, the Orchestra had it’s first collaboration with a relatively new professional company based there with dancers taken from the best companies in the US in Richard Danielpour’s “Urban Dancesk” and Debussy’s “La Mer” as well as the world premiere of a new piano concerto by Kenji Bunch. Rhodes continued his commitment to making the concert hall more than just a place to hear music, but rather a place to have singular experiences with music involving all sorts of thought, feeling and art.
In Europe during the 2017-2018 season Rhodes continued his long (24 years) relationship with the Orchestra and Ballet of the Vienna State Opera in four productions including music by Glazunov, Bach, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Liszt, Shostakovich and many others. In addition to having several performances from the State Opera live-streamed around the world, 2017 also saw the DVD release of the highly acclaimed Vienna production of “Don Quixote”. Rhodes also returned to Stuttgart in 2017 for productions of “Swan Lake” and “Romeo and Juliet”. During the 2018-2019 season, in addition to returning to Vienna for the above mentioned productions of “Sylvia”, “Nutcracker” and the Nureyev Gala, Maestro Rhodes will also make his return to the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo, Norway for their production of “Nutcracker”, after a very successful debut with “Don Quixote”.
In the 2016-2017 season Maestro Rhodes made his highly successful debut with the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo for a production of Don Quixote at the Oslo Opera House. He also returned to the Paris Opera for a triple bill of Ballanchine masterpieces with music by Stravinsky, Brahms/Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky. 19 years after having led the last major Viennese revival of Glazunov’s Raymonda in the legendary staging of Rudolf Nureyev in 1997, he conducted last season’s new staging which was seen worldwide in a special Live from the Vienna State Opera streaming event. In addition to that production he led lead the annual season finale, a Nureyev Gala celebrating the famed dancer and choreographer’s life and work with soloists and guests from around the world. He is also conducted performances of the Stuttgart Ballet’s production of John Cranko’s immortal staging of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
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.
- Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Traverse City, Michigan, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, 2001-present
- Slovak National Opera and Ballet, Bratislava, Slovakia, Chief Conductor, 2022-2023
- Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Boston, Massachusetts, Principal Conductor, 2010-present
- Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield, Massachusetts, Music Director, 2001-2021
- Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Duesseldorf/Duisburg, Germany, Kappelmeister, 1996-2001
- Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria, Principal Ballet Conductor, 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
- Teatro Lirico di Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste – 2023
- Teatro dell’Opera di Roma – 2020 – present
- Slovenian National Opera and Ballet – 2021 – present
- Teatro alla Scala – 2001 – present
- Slovak National Opera and Ballet – 2021-2022
- Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo, Norway 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022 – present
- Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria 1995-2020
- Stuttgart Ballet, Stuttgart, Germany 2016, 2017
- Paris Opera, Paris, France 2005-2016, 2025
- Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo, Japan 2015
- Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Stamford, CT 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, 2019, 2020
- Hartford Symphony Orchestra, 2010
- Verona Opera, Verona, Italy, 2006-2007
- Houston Symphony, Houston, Texas, 2007
- Queens Symphony Orchestra, Queens, New York, 2006
- Pro Arte 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
- Sinfonie Orchester Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 1999,2002
- Vienna Volksoper, Vienna, Austria 1997-1999
- Wuertembuergisches Staatstheater, Stuttgart, Germany, 1998
- Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden,Germany, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville, Florida, 1997
- Suedwestfaellisches Philharmonie, Germany, 1996, 1998, 2000
- Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan Bachelor Degree – Piano Performance 1987
- University of Illinois – Urbana, Illinois Master Degree – Orchestral Conducting 1989
- Aspen Music Fesitval – Aspen, Colorado Conducting Seminar 1986, 1987