Meridian Symphony Orchestra

Music Director

Maestro Peter Rubardt                                                              Maestro Peter Rubardt

Peter Rubardt has garnered a reputation for inspiring passionate responses to symphonic music, and for successfully deepening the relationships between orchestras and communities.  As Music Director of both the Pensacola Symphony in Florida and the Meridian Symphony in Mississippi, he has increased attendance, broadened the orchestra’s activities, and built a large and enthusiastic base of support in both communities. 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.  He was recently appointed Interim Music Director of the Gulf Coast Symphony.

Peter’s first season with the Meridian Symphony was marked by sharply increased attendance and enthusiastic community response.  Now in his eighteenth 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 played a central role in the successful renovation of 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.

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. 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.