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MOSSO Names Maestro Kevin Rhodes Artistic Advisor

SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO (the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra) has named Maestro Kevin Rhodes, former music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the ensemble’s artistic advisor. Rhodes’ contract was not renewed by the SSO in 2021, ending his tenure as music director at 20 years. He returned to Springfield last October to conduct the full MOSSO ensemble in its first Symphony Hall performance, and will return again on July 21 to celebrate the film music of John Williams in a program that also features violinist Yevgeny Kutik.

According to Beth Welty, MOSSO chair, “MOSSO is thrilled to formalize its ongoing artistic collaboration with Maestro Rhodes. He will assist MOSSO in building its repertoire for performances in Symphony Hall and in its chamber-music performances in communities throughout Western Massachusetts. When his schedule permits, he may conduct and perform with his MOSSO. Kevin’s vision put the Springfield Symphony Orchestra on the map for 20 years. Now he will help us make MOSSO an artistically innovative organization in the years ahead.”

Rhodes was recently appointed chief conductor of the Slovak National Opera and Ballet in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, giving him an artistic leadership role in a European city noted for its cultural diversity. He will continue to serve as music director for the Traverse City Symphony Orchestra in Michigan and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. He has been a presence in the major musical capitals of Europe for more than 25 years, with credits including the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, La Scala of Milan, the Dutch National Ballet, the Verona Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, and many others.

“I am very happy to be able to continue the relationship with my dear friends and colleagues, with whom I have such an incredible history onstage,” Rhodes said. “It is also a true joy that this position will afford me opportunities to reconnect with all of the wonderful audience members I’ve come to know over the years. The concert I led back in October of 2021 was an almost overwhelming experience for me, I must say. Certainly a big part of what made the experience so meaningful was that the musicians themselves had organized and made it happen. To accomplish such a feat without a staff or other support is truly Herculean … which coincidentally describes their work every time they go into that house. When they asked me to help them pursue their goals via this volunteer position, I replied with an immediate and enthusiastic ‘yes.’”

At the July 21 concert at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall, Rhodes will direct MOSSO in performing excerpts from Williams’ scores to ET, Schindler’s List, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and more. Some popular classics, including Rossini’s “Overture to The Barber of Seville,” Massenet’s “Meditation from Thaïs,” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” will open the program.

Tickets for the concert, a MOSSO benefit, are priced at $60, $45, $25, and $10, and are on sale at springfieldsymphonymusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors include BusinessWest and the Healthcare News, the Republican/MassLive, WWLP-22News and the CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

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