Below is my formal biography, but the hidden truth is that I started learning music as a beginner band student in a public school in Texas. Flashback to 2001. I was 11 years old and I wanted to play the oboe, because it reminded me of a snake charmer. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) my parents didn't like how expensive the reeds were, so after 4 weeks they told my band director to switch me to a "cheaper" instrument!
I never knew that music was going to make such a huge impact on my life.
My work represents every teacher that has invested their time and efforts into my education. My progress represents every hour of my life that I've spent in the practice room, #SoulSearchingSince2001. My experience represents every financial, familial, and emotional sacrifice that I've ever had to make in order to achieve my dreams.
I've always taken my career very seriously. Perhaps, too seriously. I still have much to learn! I am very proud of my journey, and I hope to be a living example of what is possible when you overcome self-doubt with patience and hard work! Music is my passion, my calling, my fuel for living, and if you'd like to know who I really am, ask the most important woman in my life - my mom <3 Or check out my blog!
Praised for his "smooth acrobatic tone, fierce finesse" and "virtuosic dynamics" (The Millbrook Independent - New York) Mexican-American clarinetist Elias Rodriguez has performed internationally throughout the Americas and Europe. Since performing Carl Maria von Weber's clarinet concerto on National Public Radio at the age of 16 (NPR’s "From the Top"), and being named "the state's top clarinetist" (Texas Monthly, 2007), Elias has expanded his repertoire to include anything from classical to jazz, folk, jewish klezmer, and even his own improvisations and musical arrangements. He has performed on New York's WQXR as a soloist with The Orchestra Now, a New York based ensemble with which he toured and performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Elias is a recipient of the 2018 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, which granted him an artist residency at La Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France, where he is currently based. Previous highlights include playing Brahms’ and Mozart’s quintets at Fontainebleau Castle, being a guest soloist with Ensemble Calliopée (comprised of faculty from the Paris Conservatory), and performing Maurice Ravel’s « Kaddish » for the Israeli and American Ambassador to France, in a commemorative ceremony at the United States Embassy in Paris. Most recently, Elias was one of 8 semi-finalists for the international bass clarinet vacancy in the Opera Orchestra of Montpellier (France).
Elias has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals and series across the globe, including the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Le Domaine Forget (Quebec), the Orchestra of the Americas, the Banff Centre (Canada), the Grafenegg Festival (Austria), the Bard Music Festival (New York), Bard Music Colombia (Cali), Orchestre de la Francophonie (Montreal), the Vermont Mozart Festival (USA), the Fontainebleau American School of the Arts (France), and the Saline Royale Academy (France) with Sharon Kam (April 2021). He has performed alongside artists like Christopher O’ Riley and Mark O’ Connor.
As an educator, Elias has taught at various institutions in the United States, Canada, and Colombia, among which stands out his role as Associate Director of Bands for Mesquite Independent School District in Mesquite, Texas. His teachers include Pavel Vinnitsky and Pascual Martínez-Forteza of the New York Philharmonic and the New York Metropolitan Opera, and Patrick Messina and Jean-Marc Volta (bass clarinet) of the National Orchestra of France.
A native of Dallas, Texas (USA), Elias has roots in Coahuila, Mexico, where he has an extended family of recording artists. Elias' family members can be heard on The Voice Germany, The Voice Azteca, and at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Future projects include a duo concert at the Teatro Metropólitan in Mexico City alongside his uncle, Mexican singer and actor, Pablo Montero.
Elias has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baylor University (Waco, Texas), Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Bard College (New York), and a "Diplôme supérieur d'exécution" from the École Normale de Musique in Paris, where he received a prize in chamber music by unanimous vote.
Elias is a fluent English, Spanish, and French speaker.
Photo credit: Jake Luttinger
@JLPhotoOfficial on Instagram
& the United States Embassy in Paris.