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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Roderick Cox

Associate Conductor

Roderick Cox

Roderick Cox was named the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor in September 2016, following a year in which he served as assistant conductor. He leads a set of classical subscription concerts each season and conducts Young People’s Concerts, family programs, special events and outdoor community concerts, while serving as cover conductor for many classical subscription and Live at Orchestra Hall performances. In addition, as associate conductor Cox serves as a link to the community, participating in engagement activities, school visits and collaborations with other Minnesota arts and cultural institutions. 

Cox made his Minnesota Orchestra classical subscription concert debut in three critically-acclaimed performances in January 2017, leading Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, the latter with pianist Joyce Yang. In October 2017 he returned to the subscription series, conducting works of Argento, Rachmaninoff and Grieg, featuring pianist Alessio Bax. That same month he also led “Send Me Hope,” a collaborative concert with the Orchestra, local community artists and church choirs. At Sommerfest 2018 he will conduct a “Symphony in 60” program of music by Beethoven, Salonen and Pärt. Elsewhere during the 2017-18 season he appears with the Chineke! Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia and Grant Park Festival Orchestra. 

Before arriving in Minnesota, Cox served for two years as assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to national recognition and a return to the festival as a fellow. He has also held fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of the Project Inclusion program and the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow.  

During the 2016-17 season, Cox led the Minnesota Orchestra in a December “Spirit of the Season” concert at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis. He made debut appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Colour of Music Festival and Johannesburg Philharmonic in South Africa, and conducted concerts in Washington, D.C., for the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

In 2013 Cox was one of four conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras to conduct the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of its music director, David Robertson. For two consecutive summers he was named by Marin Alsop to attend the Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 

Cox, a native of Macon, Georgia, earned a master of music degree in conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His conducting teachers have been Mallory Thompson, Victor Yampolsky, Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Mei-Ann Chen and Adrian Gnam.  In 2009 he received a bachelor of music degree in music education from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, graduating summa cum laude.

His recent honors include winning a 2017 Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and being selected by the League of American Orchestras as one of five conductors presented at the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview, a prestigious showcase for young conductors from around the country. He has also been the subject of features on NBC News and the daytime talk show The Real.

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January 2018