Born in Berkeley, California, Rubardt was a Bruno Walter fellow at the Juilliard School, where he received a D.M.A. in orchestral conducting. He was a Fulbright scholar in 1984, studying at the Vienna Academy of Music and later at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.
Before joining the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra in 1996, Rubardt was associate conductor for the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, resident conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Rutgers Symphony.
The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra celebrated Rubardt's tenth season in 2006-2007. It was revealed during the season, however, that Rubardt was a candidate to lead several other orchestras, including the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. In the case of the latter, Rubardt told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he "responded with instant desire" to their opening for a music director-conductor.
Rubardt is married to Dr. Hédi Salánki.