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Ruth Reinhardt

Ruth Reinhardt Announced as Next Music Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra

The Board of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School (RI Phil) voted to appoint German conductor Ruth Reinhardt as its next Music Director, as recommended by the organization’s Music Director Search Committee.

Ms. Reinhardt’s appointment as Music Director was announced at the RI Phil’s season- ending Gala on Saturday, June 1st, from the stage of The VETS auditorium.

Reinhardt will become the 6th Music Director in the organization’s 80-year history. This is her first Music Director position. Principal Conductor Robert Spano, who stepped in to provide leadership during the organization’s search, will remain in his current role through the 2024- 2025 season and then transition to the role of Principal Guest Conductor.

One of her generation’s rising stars, German conductor Reinhardt is building a reputation for the clarity of her musical ideas, imaginative programming, elegant performances and collaborative approach. She has guest-conducted many of the best orchestras in Europe and the United States, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic and symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Seattle. She recently led her first staged opera, a production of La Traviata, for the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Reinhardt has established collaborative relationships with up-and-coming as well as prominent soloists. As an advocate for bringing less traditional solo instruments to the orchestra, she worked with saxophonist Stephen Banks and percussionist Vivi Vassileva. Reinhardt is a champion of the works of living composers, and in her two previous engagements with the RI Phil, she presented new works by Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

“We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ruth Reinhardt as our next Music Director,” said RI Phil Board Chair Susan Chung. “We were all impressed by the way Ms. Reinhardt brought out the best in our musicians; she has that rare ability to be a leader who is clear about her ideas and eminently approachable. She has a wonderful rapport with the Orchestra and won rave reviews from our students and faculty at the Music School this past January. The search committee and the Board of Directors are confident that Ms. Reinhardt embraces and embodies the RI Philharmonic’s vision of being a world-class orchestra and music school, and we believe she will be a transformational leader for both the Orchestra and the School.”

This coming season, Reinhardt will conduct the Orchestra’s TACO and The White Family Foundation Classical Series Concert on November 9, with a program featuring Mendelssohn, Hindemith and Dvořák. Once she steps into the role of Music Director in 2025, she will lead the majority of the Orchestra’s 2025-2026 TACO and The White Family Foundation Classical and Amica Rush Hour Series concerts and its annual Gala. She also plans to lead the Orchestra’s Link Up Education Concerts as often as her schedule allows. Reinhardt will spend a significant amount of time in Rhode Island during non-conducting weeks, engaging students in the Music School, working with students in public schools and local universities, and finding other opportunities to connect the organization and community in meaningful ways. She will also continue guest conducting internationally.

“Ruth Reinhardt is an exceptional conductor, artist and human being,” said RI Phil’s Executive Director David Beauchesne. “She is talented, intelligent, and radiates confidence and positivity. We found her to be an excellent communicator and collaborator; her energy and enthusiasm on the podium is infectious. Our community was impressed by her ability to engage the audience in the Orchestra’s performance of new works by speaking to them from the stage about the music. Ms. Reinhardt shares our values, and I have no doubt that we will be successful together, building on the work of predecessors Bramwell Tovey and Larry Rachleff.”

“I am tremendously honored to join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School as Music Director,” said Reinhardt. “From our very first encounters, I have been impressed and inspired by the musicians and their ability to bring tremendous energy and musical precision to whatever they play. The Orchestra’s collaborative, community-minded spirit is very much in tune with my own commitment to sharing music beyond the concert hall. I look forward to working with young musicians through the Music School and have been impressed by the quality and commitment of the faculty and students. I’ve worked with many wonderful guest artists who would inspire both audiences and students and I intend to bring them to Rhode Island, as well as discover and develop relationships with many more.”

Current Principal Conductor Robert Spano also is enthusiastic about the outcome. “I am so pleased that Ruth Reinhardt will be joining the Rhode Island Philharmonic as Music Director. I very much look forward to working with her and joining forces to continue taking the Orchestra to new heights, especially given her reputation for bringing musical insight, tremendous energy and a spirit of collaboration to her work. I’m also delighted that the organization has asked me to stay on as Principal Guest Conductor after the conclusion of the 24-25 season.”

Read the full press release.

Learn more about Ruth Reinhardt