Roderick Cox is just one of a handful of African-American conductors in the world. He is currently the associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra and has gained national attention for his outstanding talent. During this conversation, he pulls back the curtain on his process, his dedication to his craft, the hard lessons he’s learned about excellence, and much more.
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“Trailblazer… a conductor who will be in the vanguard,” is how the Minnesota Star Tribune described Cox, someone with the potential to be “instantly endearing…a new guy who has quickly earned the musicians’ respect,” Minnesota Pioneer Press. Cox was named the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor in September 2016, following a year in which he served as the ensemble’s assistant conductor. Before arriving in Minnesota, Cox served for two years as assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to national recognition and a return to the festival as a fellow. He has also held fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of the Project Inclusion program and the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow.
Highlights for the 2016-2017 season includes a subscription concert debut with the Minnesota Orchestra, debut concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra. Cox also conducted a performance sponsored by Google and Colour of Music Festival for the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.
During the 2015-16 season, Cox made his conducting debut with the National Symphony (D.C.), Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, and Florida Orchestra. Cox was selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of five conductors presented at the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview, a prestigious showcase for young conductors from around the country. In 2013, Cox was one of four conductors selected by the League to conduct the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of its music director, David Robertson. For two consecutive summers he was named by Marin Alsop to attend the Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
-how Roderick got his start in music
-the mental and emotional aspects of performance excellence
-Roderick’s thoughts on the sacrifices and commitment necessary to thrive at a craft
-how Roderick manages his insecurities
-Roderick’s lessons learned on discipline
-Roderick’s daily routine
-advice to classical music newbies
-and much more!
STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE