Conductors

Roderick Cox

“Cox is a trailblazer… a conductor who will be in the vanguard.” (Minnesota Star Tribune)

Credit: Susie Knoll

Introduction

Winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award by the U.S Solti Foundation, Berlin-based American conductor, Roderick Cox, has been praised as a conductor who is “paving the way” (NBC News) and recognised as a “trailblazer…a conductor who will be amongst the vanguard” (Minnesota StarTribune). Cox has gained international attention for recent appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, and Philharmonia Orchestra (London).

Forthcoming highlights include his debuts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Orchestre National de Montpellier, opera debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera (both with Il barbiere di Siviglia), and performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (at Hollywood Bowl), Cincinnati Symphony, Aspen Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Tucson Symphony,

Highlights of the previous two seasons include performances with Philharmonie Orchestra (London), BBC Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Dresdner Philharmonie, Cleveland Orchestra (Blossom Music Festival), Minnesota Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and Iceland Symphony Orchestra; in the theatre, he made his opera debut at the Houston Grand Opera (Pêcheurs de Perles). Engagements cancelled as result of the COVID-19 pandemic include New York Philharmonic (Young Peoples Concerts), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Kristiansand Symfoniorkester.

Through his passion for education and diversity and inclusion in the arts, Cox started the Roderick Cox Music Initiative (RCMI) in 2018- a project to help provide scholarship funds to young musicians of colour from unrepresented communities, allowing them to pay for instruments, music lessons, and summer camps. Cox and his new initiative be featured in an upcoming documentary called Conducting Life, premiering May 2020.
Born in Macon, Georgia, Cox attended the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and then later attended Northwestern University graduating with a master’s degree in 2011. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013 and has held Fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of their Project Inclusion program and at the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow. Roderick Cox was appointed as Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra under conductor Osmo Vänskä in 2016 for three seasons having previously served as assistant conductor for a year.


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  • More info  
    09 Jul 19 Bernstein, Gershwin, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky
    Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Festival Debut

    “…His gestures, even when dramatic, were efficient and tightly controlled, with riveting intensity and focus as a result…”

    Seen and Heard International

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    27 May 19 Tippett, Child of Our Time
    Philharmonia Orchestra, Brighton Festival

    “… Roderick Cox, conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, shaped them with urgency and tension…”

    Ivan Hewett, The Guardian

  • More info  
    19 Nov 18 Cerrone, Poulenc and Saint-Seans
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Debut, Walt Disney Concert Hall

    “…The colossal event was greeted with deservedly roaring accolades from the crowd. Welcome to the limelight, Maestro Cox…”

    Tony Frankel, Stage and Cinema 

     

     

  • More info  
    19 Nov 18 Cerrone, Poulenc and Saint-Seans
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Debut, Walt Disney Concert Hall

    “…Cox massaged the dynamics for maximum effect: the fortissimo’s were very loud, and the pianissimos were very quiet. Cox is a big man, so it was all the more impressive that he was able to have the orchestra play so quietly and delicately. But when the score called for it, Cox appeared as if he were throwing thunderbolts at the orchestra. The majestic conclusion is the kind of sonic experience one wants in Disney Hall, and the crowd showed its appreciation with an immediate standing ovation for the young conductor, the orchestra and, indirectly, for the hall itself and, of course, Saint-Saëns’ symphony…”

     

    Henry Schlinger, Culture Spot LA 

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    06 Oct 17 Argento, Grieg & Rachmaninoff
    Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis Orchestra Hall

    “…The finale tingled with an edgy energy, and Cox drove home the tumultuous final climax with an expert sense of theatricality and timing…”

    Terry Blain, Star Tribune

     

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    21 Jan 17 Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky
    Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis Orchestra Hall

    “Cox’s ability to wring interesting detail from pieces that are probably overly familiar to regular concertgoers was evident again in Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto. Working with excellent soloist Joyce Yang, Cox fashioned a richly characterized interpretation, avoiding the mushy sentimentality that often passes for expressiveness in Rachmaninoff’s music.

    There was, crucially, no rushing or brash excitability. Showing a welcome readiness to apply subtle tempo variations, Cox eked out subtleties of mood and motivation often glossed over in the barnstorming finale.”
    Terry Blain, Star Tribune

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    19 Jan 17 Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky
    Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis Orchestra Hall

    “Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony provided a great opportunity to get a sense of Cox’s conducting style. Tall and slender with large expressive hands, Cox was smooth and graceful throughout the performance, communicating his interpretive ideas with clarity and confidence. He emphasized radical shifts in mood and volume, and wasn’t reticent about asking for more and more intensity on the most explosive sections or turning things way down for delicately tiptoeing pizzicatos. And, judging from the orchestra’s expertly executed performance, the new guy has quickly earned the musicians’ respect.”

    Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press