Music Director

Maestro Peter Rubardt

Peter Rubardt has earned wide acclaim for powerful and insightful performances that inspire passionate responses to symphonic music. He is currently the Music Director of the Meridian, Pensacola, and Gulf Coast Symphonies. Throughout his career he has worked successfully to broaden 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 director, Rubardt recently debuted with the Alabama and Augusta Symphonies, among others.

Rubardt’s first seasons as Music Director of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra have seen an 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, Alabama 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, Yamagata Symphony, 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, Augusta, Bangor, El Paso, 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.

A Letter From The Maestro

"Music is, quite simply, sharing.

On stage, the musicians hear and respond to every nuance of phrasing and shaping. When I'm in the audience I feel the ebb and flow of the music with the people around me. And the sharing happens across the proscenium as well; the presence of the audience feeds us and nurtures us, inspiring us to reach for something special.

There is no better way to share the music than to join us for a concert of the Meridian Symphony. The pieces are all top-drawer, the musicians are the finest in the region, and the guest artists are literally world-renowned. But most importantly, the audience is you, the community of Meridian.

Join your friends, your neighbors, your teachers and students, to experience the inspiration of the world's greatest music."

-Peter Rubardt

 Music Director

"The Meridian Symphony Orchestra was founded to enhance the quality of life for the communities of East Mississippi. The Meridian Symphony Orchestra accomplishes this by presenting the highest quality symphonic performances to a diverse audience while providing inspiring educational programs in the community and offering professional musicians a platform for artistic expression."



(601) 693-2224

1921 24th Ave, Meridian, MS 39301

P.O. Box 2171 Meridian, MS 39305

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© Meridian Symphony Association 2020 | Created by Kaylila Pasha