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 Dvorák 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 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.