A native of Cleveland, Maestro Ramadanoff began his professional studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Temple University. He continued his musical education as a doctoral candidate at the Juilliard School from 1972 to 1975, where he also taught conducting. While studying music, Mr. Ramadanoff worked closely with Robert Page and William Smith in Philadelphia from 1968 to 1972, with Herbert Blomstedt and Otto Werner Mueller at the Aspen Festival in the summers of 1972 and 1973, and with Seiji Ozawa, Eugen Jochum, Leonard Bernstein and Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood in 1974 and 1975. Mr. Ramadanoff credits these experiences with first expanding his vision of a conductor’s role.
During these years, Mr. Ramadanoff also began his career on the podium. While Music Director of the Olney Symphony from 1972 to 1975, he was the recipient of a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts to serve as Assistant Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony (1973-1975). In 1973, he led his first opera in the New York premiere of William Walton’s The Bear for the American Opera Center.
In 1975, Seiji Ozawa appointed Mr. Ramadanoff Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and in 1977, Edo de Waart promoted him to Associate. During the six years he served with the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Ramadanoff’s responsibilities included regular appearances on the subscription concert series. During 1976, Mr. Ramadanoff was appointed Music Director of all San Francisco Symphony educational and community concerts, a program that grew immensely in his hands. In 1979, he also became Music Director of the Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in the Palo Alto/San Jose area.
In 1980 Mr. Ramadanoff won the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Award, under whose auspices he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1982 with the American Symphony in Stravinsky’s Fireworks, Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, and Shostakovish’s Symphony No. 10. During the years surrounding this debut, Mr. Ramadanoff accepted many guest-conducting assignments, including performances with the Kansas City Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Grand Rapids Symphony.