Performer, conductor and composer, Jean (Rudy) Perrault is Director of Orchestras and Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). Rudy coaches chamber music, conducts both the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, teaches violin and viola, the Graduate literature Classes and the Graduate Conducting classes.
Born in Port-au-Prince,Haiti, he earned his Master's degree in violin performance from Temple University, under the tutelage of Helen Kwalwasser. Upon graduation, he moved to the New York area and became assistant conductor of the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble while maintaining his post as principal guest conductor of the Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then, Rudy has guest conducted numerous ensembles including Sinfonietta de Paris, the Karelia State Conservatory Orchestra (Russia), the Conservatoire de Paris région Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris, France), members of the Vincenzo Bellini Conservatory of Palermo (Sicily, Italy) and the Hacettepe Conservatory Symphony Orchestra (Ankara, Turkey). He is a frequent panelist on national and international, instrumental and conducting competitions, and has participated in many music festivals. As an educator, he has conducted master classes and pedagogical workshops in many countries, including Venezuela where he worked closely with members of "El Sistema" organization (FESNOJIV).
As a performer, Rudy maintains an active schedule and has performed with many different organizations including the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra in Duluth, the New York Virtuosi, the New York Pops, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Virtuosi, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philly Pops, and multiple musicals/shows on Broadway (NYC). His performances have taken him around the globe and his compositions are equally in demand by individuals and ensembles in all four corners of the world.
His most recent compositions include: “Still Around" a setting of the poem by the same name by Ruth Bauemler-Schmidt, "Brother Malcolm" - for cello and piano (a fictitious conversation between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King on the inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States), "Exodus" for String Quartet, (recorded by multiple ensembles, including the Borromeo String Quartet), Z.O.E. a string quartet that served as the soundtrack for a documentary on Zombie Origin and Evolution. Future projects include setting to music three poems of world-renown author Edwidge Danticat, composing a duo for violin and cello (Dialogues for Violin and Cello), and a ballet (Cérémonie Vodou). The past several years he has been editing and orchestrating the piano works of Haitian Classical Composers.
He is founding member and president of the Kako Foundation (kakofoundation.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music to at-risk youth in the US and Haiti. Rudy makes his home in Duluth, Minnesota.