Artistic Director 2015 to present
Max Rabinovitsj attended the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music (Belgium) and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. He has been the concertmaster of the Ottawa (Ontario) Philharmonic, the New Orleans Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Nice (France) Orchestra and the Gulbenkian (Portugal) Orchestra. He was also Associate conductor of the Nice and Gulbenkian Orchestras. In Chamber Music, he participated at the Marlboro Music Festival for six years, found the St. Louis String Quartet, which was in residence at Washington University.
In Europe, he founded the Trio da Vinci, which toured extensively on that continent. He was Director of Festivals in Entrecasteaux, France and in Sintra and Evora in Portugal. Max debuted as a solo recitalist in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, in Lincoln Center, and performed the Bach Double concerto in Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern. As a conductor, he became well known for his interpretations of the classical repertoire and his work with Youth Orchestras. He conducted great artists such as Rostropovich, Jaime Laredo, Gil Shaham, Viktoria Mullova, Maria Joao Pires, Davide Gueringas, Roger Pascal, Pierre Amoyal and many others. As soloist, Max has played under James Levine, Leon Fleisher, Max Rudolf, Thomas Mayer, Walter Susskind, Vladimir Goldschman, Jerzy Semkov, Lukas Foss, Claudio Scimone, Eleazar De Carvalho, Michel Tabachnik, and Philippe Bender.
Max has been a Professor at Washington University, the University of Texas and the University of Evora (Portugal). He has also taught at the Nice Conservatory (France) and Edgecliff Academy in Cincinnati. He met his wife Mary, a harpist, when they were both students at The Curtis Institute of Music.
Since moving to Naples a little over two years ago, Max and his wife have been active in the Naples music community. He has performed at the Cultural Russian Center many times and continues as violinist in The Trio da Vinci. The other Trio da Vinci members are Dror Biran, piano and Paul York, cello. The members are all on the faculty of Louisville School of Music where Max goes every year to give master classes and perform. The Da Vinci Trio has performed at the Violin Shop, Bonita Springs and will be reengaged next January.
Max hopes to continue giving recitals in Naples. He has played recitals with pianist Alexandra Carlson both in Naples and Sarasota. His calendar is quite full and exciting. Becoming Music Director of The Naples Orchestra & Chorus will fulfill a lifelong passion for conducting. His wife Mary is on the board of Classic Chamber Concerts. Max is on the boards of The Russian Cultural Center and The Naples Orchestra & Chorus.
Stephen J. Parker, Assistant Conductor & Choral Director
Steve Parker comes to Naples Orchestra & Chorus with a long history of choral conducting and vocal coaching in secular and sacred settings. Presently, he is in his 17th year as Director of Music and Worship at First United Methodist Church, Naples’ first and oldest congregation which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016. FUMC’s all-volunteer Chancel choir and music ministry is known for its quality vocal and instrumental presentations for generations of Naples’ longtime families. Prior to his tenure with FUMC, Parker served for 10 years as Director of Music at North Naples United Methodist, where his family were charter members and he spent his youth in some of his first musical experiences. Under his musical direction, the NNUMC music ministry grew from two choirs to fourteen multi-generational vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Steve is also a charter member of the Naples Philharmonic Chorale, performing with the ensemble for several seasons. In addition to his local vocal directing and coaching experience, Parker is a 25-year per service member of the Naples Philharmonic as a saxophonist and woodwindist, and performs frequently with the Southwest Florida Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony. He is in high demand as an orchestral member for annual touring Broadway shows around the state of Florida, and has performed in recent months sharing the stage with artists Renee Fleming, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Idina Menzel, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Michael Feinstein, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. His mentors and instructors have included Margaret Hillis of the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus, Frederic Hemke, John Paynter, and Jerome Edwards.
Steve is a Naples native, attending Naples High School, graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy (MI), and earning the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. The husband of notable local music educator Kelly Parker, he is also the proud father of three extraordinarily musical children, Reid (21), William (18), and Elizabeth (15), all of whom play and perform together regularly. Parker is a member of American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada – Local 427-721.