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) 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 performed on New York's WQXR and at the United States Embassy in Paris. He was formerly a member of 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 has expanded his repertoire to include anything from classical to jazz, folk, Jewish Klezmer, and even his own improvisations and musical arrangements. A native of Dallas, Texas (USA), Elias comes from a Mexican family of guitarists and singers. Upcoming features include a duo concert at the Teatro Metropólitan in Mexico City alongside his uncle, Mexican singer and actor, Pablo Montero, solo concerts at the Fontainebleau Castle in France, and a jazz recital in Paris with his duo partner, French pianist Clément Huber.
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, Orchestre de la Francophonie (Montreal), and the Vermont Mozart Festival (USA). He has performed alongside artists like Christopher O’ Riley, Mark O’ Connor, and Ensemble Calliopée.
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.
Elias has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baylor University (Waco, Texas), and Master’s degrees in Music from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Bard College (New York). He is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, which granted him an artist-residency at La Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France and funded his studies at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, where he received his "Diplôme supérieur d'exécution" and 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.