Josh Rodriguez, born in Cordoba, Argentina, spent his childhood in Guatemala surrounded by Latin American percussion music and folksong. Though he began taking piano lessons from his mother and guitar lessons from his father at age seven, it wasn’t until the family moved to Monterrey, Mexico, in 1996 that he began to seriously pursue music and dream of being a composer. At sixteen, he began studying the saxophone under Jose Aranda (and later Jeffrey Price), and at eighteen, took violin lessons with Lilia Naydenova. After completing a B.A. in Music through Thomas Edison State College and the Verity Institute in 2006, he returned to Mexico to work in a bilingual private school. In addition to the expected music history, theory, and choir classes, he also taught songwriting, and directed his own adaptations of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Wicked”. During this time, he studied composition with Myrna Bazan. While composition is the primary focus, he has continued to develop his skills as a local performer, participating in a guitar and sax duo, as well as participating at his home church.
In May 2011, he graduated with a Master of Music in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Keith Fitch and Steven Kohn. He is now working on a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of California, Los Angeles with Ian Krause.
His music now spans various genres including sacred and secular vocal music, classical concert music, contemporary pop songs, and recently electronic music and film scores.
Here is what Josh says about his new work, Condor, de los Llanos al Cielo:
"One of the images that came to me early in the compositional process was that of the Andean condor. An unattractive scavenger at first glance, the condor is a South American symbol of sovereignty and freedom. The Andean Condor – with a wingspan of 10.5 feet – it is one of the largest living birds and can fly for 1,000 kilometers in a day. Throughout South America, the condor plays an active role in folklore and mythology. While composing this new orchestral work, I found in the condor an image of yearning, struggle, and triumph."