"A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly."
- Pablo Neruda
Known for his energetic rhythms, rich harmonic language, and striking colors, Josh Rodriguez (b. 1982) continues to gain recognition as an emerging composer on a national and international scale. Born in Argentina and raised in Guatemala and Mexico, Rodriguez's musical imagination has been formed by the colors and cultures of his childhood. Perhaps equally formative, however, was his love of stories: in particular the mutually enriching partnership of music and film.
Rodriguez has received several notable commissions in a wide range of musical genres: commissions include Partita Picosa (a 5-movement piece for solo piano), Contra Spem Spero (violin chamber concerto), numerous choral and orchestral works, music for jazz trio and big band, and original scores for Courtyard Shakespeare Festival's 2019 production of Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and CBU Theater's 2020 production of Love's Labour's Lost. In addition to concert and theater music, Rodriguez has scored many animated shorts, several of which have appeared in international film festivals and received special awards.
Rodriguez earned his MM at the Cleveland Institute of Music and upon winning the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship moved west to study composition at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research at UCLA culminated with his dissertation (Tiemble y estalle la fiesta: Toward Understanding Alberto Ginastera’s Musical Language in the Final Decade of his Neo-expressionist Phase Through Analysis of the Cello Concerto No. 2 with a Focus on Symmetrical Structures and Symbolism). In addition to Ginastera, Rodriguez has delved into the music of the 16th century Genevan Psalter: a collection of sacred music assembled under the supervision of John Calvin in Switzerland.
Rodriguez is composer-in-residence of the Corona Symphony Orchestra, and previous composer-in-residence for the Brahms’ Ghost Trio (2014-16). He has collaborated with numerous ensembles including the Youngstown Scoring Stage, Symphony Irvine, and Ohio Northern Symphony. He currently serves at the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University as Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition, and is co-director of Deus-Ex-Musica an initiative that brings musicians, pastors, and non-musicians together for concerts and conversations about the intersection of faith and new music.
His mentors include Richard Danielpour, Bruce Broughton, Ian Krouse, Paul Chihara, Keith Fitch, David Lefkowitz, Roger Bourland, Steven Kohn, M. Dean Kincaid. He’s participated in seminars with Harry Gregson-Williams, Steven Mackey, William Bolcom, Augusta Read Thomas, James Newton Howard, Peter Golub, George Tsontakis, Steven Stucky, Julian Anderson, and Richard Bellis.