Dr. Rafael Antonio Rodríguez Brings Global Experience to University of Memphis as Visiting Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies

Rafael Antonio Rodríguez

The Univeristy of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music welcome Dr. Rafael Antonio Rodríguez as a visiting professor and director of orchestral studies for the 2024-2025 academic year. “Rafael Rodríguez’s extraordinary career as a conductor and clinician brings a global perspective that will invigorate and inspire our School of Music community,” shared Dr. Kevin Sanders, director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. “His international accomplishments and leadership in orchestral and wind band conducting will provide our students and faculty with a unique opportunity to learn from his vast expertise. We are eagerly anticipating the energy, artistry, and collaborative spirit he will bring to our program.”

Born in Mexico, raised in the United States, Rafael Antonio Rodríguez made his orchestral debut with the Romanian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Constanţa in 2013. He returned the following year to conduct this orchestra in a special Easter week concert featuring soloists and chorus from the Teatro National “Oleg Danovsky,” and had the pleasure of conducting the Pazardjik Philharmonic in Bulgaria during this same visit to Eastern Europe. Selected as a Conducting Fellow with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica (2015), Rafael served as Assistant Conductor with the Boulder Philharmonic for two years during his doctoral residency. He was invited to attend the “Conductors Lab” in Aix-en-Provence (France) where he studied with an ensemble of ten musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic in master classes and conducting sessions.

Rodríguez served as Artistic Director for the Orquesta Sinfónica Manuel María Gutiérrez, the national youth symphony orchestra representing the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical in the Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica. He regularly appears as guest conductor (since 2007) with the National Bands of Costa Rica, sharing his interpretive experience as an orchestral conductor with these fine professional ensembles. Rodríguez’s background as a jazz pianist brings a unique and intimate perspective to his musical interpretations. He collaborates with musicians with a clear sense of purpose and intention, yet is profoundly respectful of the dignity and humanity that each musician represents within the orchestra. Phrase and detail, emotive, energetic and purposeful, these are the characteristics that make Rafael Antonio so compelling on the podium.

Rodríguez received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado in Boulder. His conducting studies include with Italian maestro Alfredo Bonavera, winner of the prestigious Mitropoulos conducting competition in 1969 and Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1969 – 1970, with American conductor Carl St. Clair, director of the Pacific Symphony in California and the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, and with Gary Lewis, director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale in Texas, and head of the conducting studio at the University of Colorado Boulder. Previously, Dr. Rodríguez served on the music faculty at Augsburg University in Minneapolis as the Director of Orchestras & Jazz.

Back To Top
Skip to toolbar