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.
Since his appointment as Music Director of the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra in 1983, Mr. Ramadanoff has concentrated the majority of his work in the Bay Area, supplemented with occasional guest-conducting. From 1982 to 1986, he conducted at least one production annually for West Bay Opera. From 1984 to 1988, he served as Director of Orchestral Activities at the San Francisco Conservatory as well as Principal Conductor of the SFCM Orchestra. Under Mr. Ramadanoff’s direction, the orchestral training program at the San Francisco Conservatory was vastly expanded; Mr. Ramadanoff added sectional instruction taught by principals of the San Francisco Symphony and a special wind, brass and percussion class in orchestral repertoire.
During Mr. Ramadanoff’s thirty one year tenure with the Vallejo Symphony (1983-2015) the orchestra grew from a community ensemble to an urban orchestra of regional importance. Under Mr. Ramadanoff’s leadership, the orchestra developed very strong community and youth outreach programs and a distinguished record of several West Coast premieres including Hannibal Lokumbe’s African Portrait and Billy Childs’ The Distant Land. Mr. Ramadanoff attracted the finest players, who came not only for the high level of the performances, but for the challenging and interesting repertory.
Since 1988, Mr. Ramadanoff has been Music Director and Conductor of the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra (YPSO) in Berkeley, CA. At YPSO, Mr. Ramadanoff has applied many of the same principals used in the Vallejo Symphony. As a consequence, YPSO is now a 100+ member orchestra with wide recognition as an outstanding youth ensemble performing challenging symphonic repertoire. With Mr. Ramadanoff’s oversight, the young musicians of YPSO have played for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, and appeared at the concert series of the Vacaville Concert Society. Mr. Ramadanoff has lead YPSO performances on tours of China (2006), Australia/New Zealand (2008), Alaska (2010) Central Europe (2012), and, most recently New York City and Boston. One of the highlights was conducting YPSO musicians in a performance in the Golden Hall of the Wiener Musikverein, the home of the Vienna Philharmonic.