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Mattie Kelly Distinguished Chair in Music & Conducting

Jeffrey Rink, ConductorJeffrey Rink was selected in July, 2007 to serve as the Mattie Kelly Distinguished Endowed Teaching Chair in Music and Conducting at Northwest Florida State College and to lead the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) as the symphony’s full-time conductor and music director. The NFSO celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007. The professional orchestra is operated under the auspices of Northwest Florida State College and performs at Northwest Florida State College’s Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Rink, one of Boston's most visible and talented musicians, served as the Music Director of Chorus pro Musica in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Newton Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestral Activities at the Longy School of Music, where he conducted the Longy Chamber Orchestra and served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He was Conductor of the New England Philharmonic for eight years in which he won four ASCAP awards for adventuresome programming and commitment to new music.

While still fulfilling requests for numerous guest appearances worldwide, such as leading the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra at Harvard University in a performance in Fall 2007 in Boston, Rink said he and his family have been happily involved in settling into their new home in Niceville. “I’ve so enjoyed getting out to various community groups and meeting with local businesses and sponsors,” said Rink. “I’m planning a marvelous expanded season for next year and look forward to the continued development of this wonderful new era for the NFSO as we enter the start of the symphony’s third decade in the region.”

Maestro Rink continues his affiliation with Chorus pro Musica in Boston, a large symphonic chorus now in its 59th performance year, and returns periodically to Massachusetts to lead the group in concert. Rink also recently served as a guest conductor with the Tokyo Symphony in Japan and led a performance of the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass in Tokyo’s acclaimed Metropolitan Artspace in September, 2007. Rink will lead the NFSO in April 2008 in a performance of the same piece as part of the symphony’s season finale concert.

During his career in New England, Maestro Rink conducted critically acclaimed concert opera performances with Chorus pro Musica including the Boston premiere of Attila, Samson et Dalila, Mefistofele, La Traviata, Nabucco, Macbeth, Otello, Turandot, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Faust and Carmen. With the Newton Symphony Orchestra, he has conducted highly successful concert opera performances of Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, and Barber of Seville.

He was honored in 2005 by the New England Opera Club with the Jacopo Peri Award joining past winners such as Sarah Caldwell and Boris Goldovsky for his significant contributions to the local opera scene, "This symphonic conductor is acclaimed for his innovative productions of concert operas." (New England Opera Club). Also in 2005, Rink led a critically acclaimed performance of La Bohème with the Maryland Opera Institute which prompted the Washington Post to write “this is about as good as any "Bohème" you are likely to see this side of the Metropolitan Opera or Covent Garden.” In 2001 he conducted highly successful performances of The Magic Flute in the New National Theatre, Tokyo.
With Chorus pro Musica Mr. Rink has conducted the North American premieres of two major works of Berlioz with period instruments: L’Enfance du Christ and Roméo et Juliette. He has brought the Newton Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Pro Musica to perform sold out concerts of Chinese and Western works in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall.

Mr. Rink has received high praise from The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, El Economista in Mexico City, the Manila Standard, Switzerland’s La Liberté and Poland’s Glos Wybzreza and GazetaMorska.

Maestro Rink has traveled worldwide in a guest conductor capacity: the Baltic State Philharmonic in Gdansk, Poland, (the only American asked to participate in their millennium celebration), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Monterrey in Mexico, and L'Orchestre de Sherbrooke of Quebec, Canada.  Other triumphant appearances include concerts with Metropolitan Opera soprano Barbara Kilduff in Asia, conducting L'Orchestre de Jeunes de Fribourg in Switzerland, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Telemann Chamber Orchestra and New Japan Philharmonic in Japan, and the Filarmonica de Queretero and Carlos Chavez Symphony in Mexico. During the 2003-2004 season, Mr. Rink served as a cover conductor for James Levine, James Conlon, Hans Graf, Robert Spano, Gennady Roszhdestvensky and Rafel Frühbeck de Burgos with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.