Ricardo Averbach
A Biography

(click here for reviews)


Office: 103 Presser Hall
Phone: 513/523-5639
Email: averbach@muohio.edu


Director of Orchestral Studies, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio USA

  • D.M.A, Orchestra Conducting, University of Michigan School of Music, 1995
  • M.M., Orchestra, Opera and Choral Conducing, Sofia National Academy of Music, Bulgaria, 1981
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, 1979
  • 2010 American Prize winner, University/College Division
  • 1st Honor Diploma, 31st Masterplayers International Music Competition, Lugano, Switzerland
  • National Vice-President, College Orchestra Directors Association
  • Over half a million CDs sold worldwide
  • American representative in the jury of the Hopes, Talents, Masters International Music Competition, Bulgaria
  • Yearly guest conducting engagements in numerous countries (China, Italy, France, Portugal, United States, Russia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Luxemburg, Argentina and others)
  • Diploma di Merito, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Sienna, Italy, 1987
  • Seminar for Conductors, Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Germany 1987
  • Maurice Abravanel Fellowship, Tanglewood Music Festival, USA, 1992


Mentors include Sergiu Celibidache, Gustav Meier, Vladi Simeonov, and Gennadi Rozdestvensky

Ricardo Averbach is a native of Brazil. Prior to his coming to Miami University in 2002, he was Music Director of the Echternach Festival Chamber Orchestra in Luxembourg, Music Director of the University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble in Philadelphia and Acting Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal de São Paulo in Brazil.

Under his leadership both the Miami University Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Chamber Orchestra were among the eight finalists for the 2010 American Prize. The Oxford Chamber Orchestra became the first runner-up (second prize) among university orchestras in the country. In the same year he received the 1st Honor Diploma at the 31st Masterplayers International Music Competition in Lugano, Switzerland, where only 32 conductors make it past the first round.

At Miami University he conducts the Miami University Symphony Orchestra, the Oxford Chamber Orchestra and the yearly opera production, besides teaching large courses in Music Appreciation and private conducing lessons. After only three years at Miami University, the symphony orchestra under his leadership has been selected in one single year and by competitive audition to three major conferences: MENC, ASTA and OMEA. In 2005 he organized the first international tour of the ensemble, creating the Russian-American Orchestra Institute, in collaboration with the St. Petersburg State Conservatory.

Dr. Averbach's commitment to contemporary music is reflected in his programming and on his recordings. His discography includes the world premiere recording of the ballet Amazonas and the Fantasy in Three Movements in the Form of a Choros by Villa-Lobos, and his recordings already sold more than half a million copies. His most recent recordings for Vienna Modern Masters and Helicon Records labels received favorable reviews from the Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide and other publications. As a scholar, Dr. Averbach is constantly researching performance practices of various periods and the practical applications of theoretical concepts. His research on Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra resulted in the Time Warner TV broadcast of the program "Leopold Stokowski: Making Music Matter," which received the Telly Award in 1999. In 2009 his critical edition of "O Martírio dos Insetos" (The Insects' Martyrdom), a composition for violin and orchestra by Villa-Lobos was released by Theodore Presser, marking the 50th anniversary of the composer's death.

Since the beginning of his career, Dr. Ricardo Averbach has been committed to the education of audiences and young musicians, in the roles of conductor, clinician and adjudicator. In Bulgaria he worked with the Pioneer Philharmonic, a prestigious youth orchestra that received numerous awards, including the Special Prize for Extremely High Artistic and Technical Achievements at the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin. He has also conducted the Orchestra Portuguesa da Juventude, a selective orchestra for the most promising young musicians in Portugal. In 1999 and 2000 he adjudicated the Albert M. Greenfield Competition of the Philadelphia Orchestra for young soloists, and later became a member of the Committee for Education and Community Partnerships for the same orchestra. Currently he is an official adjudicator for the Ohio Music Educations Association and a member of the Committee for the Arts and Innovative Thinking for the Department of Education of the State of Ohio.


Reviews



Boryana Statkova (Duma, Bulgaria, 06/09/2010):


"The orchestra demonstrated mastership with exuberant sonorities - brilliant and rich - performed with artistry and precision thanks to the outstanding conducting of maestro Ricardo Averbach...[the conductor] showed special care with each sound, with each harmony, and a deep understanding of Villa-Lobo's composition style, ingenuously mixing the Brazilian spirit based on the musical tradition of the coffee shops of Rio de Janeiro in the 1920's in counterpoint with a musical vocabulary of an aesthetic that relates with Bach."

Fanfare magazine, March/April 2009 edition


"The Sofia Philharmonic under the direction of Ricardo Averbach plays extremely well."

Alexander Tchaikovsky, composer, 11/29/07
President of the Moscow Philharmonic
Rector at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory


"[Ricardo Averbach's] performance was perfect and sounded as I intended. He understood the composer's ideas and brilliantly implemented them into the performance."

Peter Shopov, President of the Sophia Philharmonic
(Muzikalni Horizonti, Bulgaria, September, 2007)


"The complexities of the program on the stylistic point of view were commanded by Ricardo Averbach with professional mastery and artistism. The academic presentation for the performed works was not self-objective, but was the result of a deep knowledge and understanding of the output of the composers in question."

Reynaldo Cañizares, dean of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory
(Diario Expreso de Guayaquil, Ecuador)


"It would not be fair to say that he simply 'conducted the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guayaquil.' Actually, he united with his musicians and with this perfect fusion he directed with respect and mastery, recreating the overture and symphonies in an outstanding way... His work was of an artisan: fine, polished, crafted. His gestures were precise, graphic, descriptive, with no need of a baton, because his way of music making is much more human, cordial, closer to an invitation to play, to listen and to enjoy... His mastery has authority but allows the musicians to flow and breath. He not only directs, but knows how to listen... His versatility in the tempi was so coherent in terms of form and content that he managed to close an imaginary elliptical form that he began to build since the beginning of the performance."

Freddy Russo (El Universo, Ecuador, 12/12/2005)


"The 11th concert was brilliant. The knowledge and experience of the conductor Averbach were awaited with great expectations and indeed when he conducted the overture by Rossini the intonation and precision of the orchestra were like a Swiss clock. (For Dvorak's New World Symphony) the conducting was economic and brilliant. Since the beginning... he showed a deep knowledge of Dvorak's influences in the musical architecture... He conducted with great ability. Due to his preparation, the orchestra was well organized and balanced. The energy, strength and power of his conducting in the last movement led to a standing ovation."

(d'Land Kultur, No. 24, Luxembourg, 06/16/2006)


"Averbach takes advantage of a varied program by deliciously shaping the strings and the woodwinds to convey each style, which forgave any glitch played by the winds...Averbach...reconciles opposing styles: agile, he doesn't dismiss semi tone colors; delicate, he can also be impetuous"

(RéF, Pizzicato. Germany, 6/2005)


"After the intermission the symphony orchestra played...colorfully and with great passion and sophistication; Ricardo Averbach not only showed the swing and energy of Copland's music, but also its depth."

Vladimir Ludin (St. Petersburg Nights, Russia, 05/24/05)


"The overall atmosphere of the concert was dominated by the creative emotion of the Brazilian conductor Ricardo Averbach, whose authoritative and strong presence, looking like a movie star, won the hearts of thousands of music admires... No matter the style [of the compositions] they were loaded with energy and inspired by a sense of freedom... His gestures as a conductor were laconic, yet he was leading the young musicians very confidently as a fiery orator... Even the overture Cenerentola sounded like a virtuosic piece charged with emotional content rather than a light entertaining composition."

Lessia Petrova (Neva News, Russia, 05/18/05)


"The head of the ensemble was the remarkable musician Professor Ricardo Averbach. The Russian audience has noticed before this renowned director in his previous performances in this country... One's heart stopped by the beauty since the very first notes of the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. Its divine crescendo in the interpretation of Ricardo Averbach made us stop, forget about everything and think only about art and the heroes of the 2nd World War to which the musicians dedicated their performance."

Greg Foetz (Luxemburger Wort, 06/15/04)


"A concert of great significance... Certain chords were of great beauty and the various timbres and rhythms were well sustained to create a unique atmosphere... the interpretation was feverish due to the purity of the sounds... The very talented conductor Ricardo Averbach is the director of the Miami University Orchestra and the Oxford Chamber Orchestra. His attention directed towards the young musicians was the best assurance possible for a dynamic and intelligent interpretation... This colorful and enjoyable fantasy (Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2) was performed with a fresh interpretation and great precision."

Expreso de Guayaquil, 06/24/04


"Part of the public stayed outside in the last presentation of the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra. The seats of Theater Carlos Cuevas Tamariz were occupied by the audience five minutes before Rodeo...! The receptivity of the public led the orchestra to 108 presentations this year. Most of the time with the presence of conductors like Ricardo Averbach."

Lesley Valdes (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/24/97)


"Penn conductor Ricardo Averbach, whose fingers have a spidery elegance, led with a devotional precision Un Sourire (A Smile), an homage to Mozart, whose sustained quiet suggests more sighs than smiles."

Daniel Webster (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/24/98)


"Averbach proved an economical conductor who moved the orchestra fluently in tempos that complemented the playing and singing. He managed a jauntily clear reading of the fugue in the oratorio's opening and went on to stress the instruments described in the poem in a way that ... remained in the character of the work."

Lada Brashanova (Musical Horizons No. 5, 2003, Bulgaria)


"...we admired the fine musical sensitivity, grace and delicacy of the conductor, who especially in the lyrical second and fourth movements achieved musical tableaux and contemplativeness of the fresh Norwegian nature. Excellent was the versatile dynamic range of the third movement, as well as the perfectly correct phrasing... Averbach demonstrated versatile manual technique, rich emotionality, rhythmic stability and tonal nuances."

Boyanka Arnaudova (Opera News, Bulgaria, June/00)


"Ricardo Averbach succeeded in emphasizing the lyricism, embellishments and rhythmic pulsation in a very specific way. His feeling for the inner motion in Mozart's music led the orchestra and soloists into an energetic and nuance-rich interpretation....The warm orchestra sonorities and attention to stylistic details on the part of the conductor were remarkable."

Dr. Peter Shopov (Musica Viva, Bulgaria, September/00)


"Ricardo Averbach reached the essence of Viennese Classicism; a Mozartean atmosphere grabbed the audience and embraced the concert hall."