Manchester Music Festival to hire new artistic director


MANCHESTER>> A change in leadership of the Manchester Music Festival was recently announced by the Board of Directors.

After a meeting on Sept. 15, the board released a statement saying that Artistic Director, Ariel Rudiakov would no longer be a part of the organization.

In a release, MMF officials said that as a result of new programming set for the MMF, "the board decided to begin a search for a new artistic director. The board expresses its profound thanks and gratitude to Ariel Rudiakov for his many years of service to the festival."

Rudiakov served, with his wife Joana Genova, since 2000.

MMF officials declined to comment on Rudiakov's employment status but explained that more information would be available in the next month when an interim director is hired.

Rudiakov confirmed with the Manchester Journal on Tuesday that he and his wife are no longer with MMF and that he could not speak on any other details.

"My family and I will remain in the community and fully intend to continue performing and teaching," he added.

According to the 2011 990 Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 document, the full-time artistic director earned a salary of $58,075. Between 2012 and 2013, the salary for that position is not listed.

MMF sent out a release on Sept. 15 that mentioned additional changes to the organization. They include "recruiting of top quality young artists, accomplished college and graduate school students in classical music performance" who wish to advance in performing chamber music, according to the release. MMF invites faculty and guest artists to identify said talent.

Resources will go toward educational programs that involve classical music history and performance as well as the summer festival. The release goes on to say that a limited number of chamber music events will be offered — the annual New Year's Eve concert and other educational opportunities.

Pianist Eugene List and his wife and violinist Carroll Glenn founded the MMF in 1974 by holding a six-week Young Artists Program known as the Southern Vermont Arts Center Music Festival. This attracted professionals from New York City, where the couple resided.

Nine years later the founders invited Michael Rudiakov to join the organization as the Festival's Manager due to his experience as the Director of the Chamber Music Concert Series at Sarah Lawrence College. When Glenn and List passed away in 1983 and 1985, Rudiakov assumed festival leadership with his wife Judith. At this point, Rudiakov established the full-time position of Artistic Director.

In 2000, Rudiakov's son Ariel took on the Artistic Director position and established a full-time music academy in his predecessor's honor the next year.

The Manchester Congregational Church, the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert, Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton, the Mark Skinner Library and other community agencies host MMF performances today. In the summer, performers continue to take the stage at the Arkell Pavilion at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Additionally, the Festival House and Rudiakov House are occupied for music lessons, meetings, rehearsals and to house visual artists.

— Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.


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