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© 2019 by MARY VANHOOZER

About

"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 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 partly 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 five movement piece for solo piano, a violin chamber concerto, orchestral and choral works, music for jazz sextet, and most recently two original scores for Courtyard Shakespeare Festival's 2019 production of Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. In addition to concert music, Rodriguez has also received commissions to score many animation 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 and history of the 16th century Genevan Psalter: a collection of sacred music assembled under the supervision of John Calvin in Switzerland.

Rodriguez was composer-in-residence of the Brahms’ Ghost Trio (2014-16), during which the ensemble toured Southern California with his piano trio, That Crazed Girl Improvising, performing at Biola University and Westmont College. Rodriguez has appeared as an instructor of composition at the Coda Mountain Academy Music Festival in 2016. He has also collaborated with numerous ensembles including the Youngstown Scoring Stage and Symphony Irvine. 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, Ian Krouse, Paul Chihara, Keith Fitch, David Lefkowitz, Bruce Broughton, 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.