Conductor and Musicians

Dr. Peter Rubardt

Music Director

In addition to his long-standing position as Music Director of the Pensacola Symphony, he also serves as the Music Director of the Meridian and Gulf Coast Symphonies in Mississippi. Throughout his career he has worked successfully to broaden and deepen 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 conductor, Rubardt recently debuted with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Alabama Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, and the Augusta Symphony, among others.

Now in his twenty-sixth 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 designing the orchestra’s innovative “Beyond the Stage” program, partnering with a range of local organizations to bring music to hospitals, schools, and community centers around the community. Previously he was at the forefront of the effort that successfully renovated 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. Since assuming the Music Directorship in Meridian, that community has 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. At the Gulf Coast Symphony, Rubardt successfully oversaw the transition into a newly constructed performance hall, and is currently engaged in a capital campaign to expand the orchestra’s community impact.

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.


First Violin

Jorge Ivan Gonzalez, Concertmaster
LaTannia Ellerbe
Hsin-Tzu Hsu
Milena Rusanova
Jessica Achon
Sara Rodriguez
Sara Yen
Federico Franco
Laurel Walther

Second Violin

Gosia Leska, Principal
Juliana Gaviria
Marlene Gentile
Hannah Urdea
Carol Vargas
Adelle Paltin
Fayth Williams
Juan Lincango


Courtney Grant, Principal
Grant Bedillion
Jim Lichtenberger
Ana Suarez
Ricardo Vera
Isabell Marques


Andrea Beltran, Principal
Daniel Martinez
Mert Ozkan
Luis Castro
Alejandro Restrepo
Sofia Fortin


Taylor Hollyer, Principal
Samuel Dahmer
Aidan Lobenstein
Justin Leonard


Rebecca Mindock, Principal
Galit Kaunitz


Danilo Mezzadri, Principal
Rachel Ciraldo
Lindsey Keay


John Craig Barker, Principal , Endowed Chair, Dr. Tom Graves
Melissa Turner
Jackie Mcllwain, bass clarinet


Kimberly Woolly, Principal
Shawn Karson


Angela Finley, Principal
Rob Detjen
Lauren Braud
Arisia Gilmore


Timothy Tesh, Principal
Michael Bass
Logan Place


Bret Barrow
William Hess
Jonathan McNeer


Brian Gallion


Laura Noah


Matt Greenwood, Principal
Cam Roberts
Zach Webb


Theresa Sanchez


Rebekah Atkinson