"...a young and brilliant composer named Josh Rodriguez, who studied with me at UCLA during his four years of study leading to his Doctorate. Josh impressed me then, as he still does today, with his talent, drive, originality, and musical initiative. His recent choral composition “DARKNESS IS MY ONLY FRIEND” is a stunning example of musical passion, modern sound textures, and very clear contemporary notation, all in a traditional world of faith and supplication. Josh has a wide variety of musical experiences (in composing concert, choral, and film music) which enriches his musical vision and vocabulary... His musical curiosity, courage, and originality all make his latest music unpredictable and utterly amazing! He speaks to this generation of youth and older music aficionados like myself!"
Paul Chihara, film & concert composer
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UCLA
Artist Faculty in Film Scoring, NYC
About TIKAL (concert band, Honorable Mention at THE AMERICAN PRIZE, 2021)
"I know percussion instruments hold an important role in Guatemalan culture...incredible colors and textures [in] your percussion instrument selection...too often an end of a work is predictable...I love the somewhat 'surprise' ending."
Mark Morette, adjudicator for THE AMERICAN PRIZE
"The Trinity College Concert Choir had the privilege of the US Midwest premier of "I See Your World in Light," Josh's first collaboration with Malcolm Guite. The students took to the piece immediately, captivated by the evocative setting of the text, the harmonies--alternately shimmering and expansive, and the profound joy of the final cadence. It was a delight to rehearse, and this season's favorite piece for the choir and for me."
Charles King, choral conductor
"...a unique and powerful work, [When Stone Becomes Forest, 2022 Winner of THE AMERICAN PRIZE] was worth multiple listens. The repeated striking of the pedal point in the piano and mallets felt analogous of the beat of time....many works in the band medium are unimaginative in their color palette, so your choice to be sparse at times while not adhering to "standard" instrument combinations while you create a variety of timbral combinations is much appreciated."
Michael Butler, Adjudicator for THE AMERICAN PRIZE
“Collaborating with Josh Rodriguez really took my film “Dear Death” to the next level. The creativity that Josh brought to his musical compositions was matched by his technical and production skills, recruiting the right orchestra to perform the score and making sure that everything was completed by the due date. I would recommend Josh for any film composition or arranging endeavor.”
Kate Isenberg, illustrator/cartoonist
"Josh is truly an inspiration to work with. His passion and knowledge of cinematic structure and overall storytelling fuels a striking ability to bring life to film through music. My partnership with him is something I wish to continue for every film and animation that I conceive. What's great is how open we can be with each other and really break down every moment of story and song. Additionally, Josh's ability to capture any genre is truly astounding. Working with him inspires me to create more because of how much I love hearing his music tell a story."
Daniel Olivas, animator/director
About CONTRA SPEM SPERO (violin concerto),
"masterful...deserves to be in the hands of many violinists seeking new repertoire...what captivated me about the work is how [Rodriguez] evokes the heart-wrenching memories of longing, in a prismatic style recalling Vaughn Williams' Tallis Fantasia... Still Rodriguez is his own man and has a vision where he takes his listener to a place that is of yearning for peace - with the hope that even though one misses a loved one, their spirit will continue to guide you."
Kevin Scott, adjudicator for THE AMERICAN PRIZE
About THAT CRAZED GIRL IMPROVISING (piano trio),
"...compelling. Exciting conversation between instruments including sounds of conflict in the conversation...I very much enjoyed your composition and felt it was effective."
Ulli Reiner, violinist & five time Grammy nominee