Music Director Of Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra David Rudge Resigns Over COVID-19 Safety Conditions

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: State University of New York)

The Music Director of the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra Dr. David Rudge has resigned over disagreement with the board of the orchestra regarding the working conditions for musicians and staff, and audience safety.

The conductor specifically expressed concerns that there won’t be face masks or other safety precautions mandated for audience members for the rest of the season.

“It has been such an honor to have worked with such talented and experienced artists. I have so much appreciated their musicianship over these years and now sincerely regret that precautions will not be taken to allow us to continue performing together,” said Rudge in an official statement. “This was one of the most difficult decisions of my professional life, but my vision and sense of responsibility for the well-being of everyone involved, was not shared by the majority of the board.”

The Board of the Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra confirmed that it had received and accepted Rudge’s resignation.

“While we have been working through multiple issues and numerous concerns for quite some time now, it was always our intent to part ways respectfully and professionally,” said the board in an official press release.

Dr. David Rudge has conducted orchestras on five continents to critical acclaim. Rudge founded the Eastminster Chamber Orchestra and was Assistant Conductor of the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, the Columbia Lyric Opera and Ballet, and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Rudge holds a position of the Director of Orchestras and Opera at the State University of New York.