Santiago Rodriguez has been called “a phenomenal pianist ” (The New York Times) and “among the finest pianists in the world” (The Baltimore Sun). He has performed internationally with leading orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Yomiuri-Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Japan, the Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, and National Symphony Orchestras, and the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Mr. Rodriguez has appeared in recital at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Montreal’s Theatre Maisonneuve, the Santander Festival in Spain, Alice Tully Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, and at the prestigious Ravenna Festival in Italy where the critics proclaimed that “he conquered the audience.” Mr. Rodriguez made his Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of Dennis Russell Davis, and in recent seasons has returned for engagements in Finland, Korea and Taiwan.
One of today’s foremost interpreters of the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, Santiago Rodriguez has performed all of the composer’s major piano works in concert. He is currently recording The Rachmaninov Edition, which, when completed, will encompass the entire catalog of Rachmaninov’s original solo piano compositions. In reviewing Volumes 1 and 2, Bryce Morrison of Gramophone stated that “Santiago Rodriguez, the Cuban-American virtuoso, is born for Rachmaninov, and I doubt whether any of the works on these two discs have often been played with such a spellbinding mix of high-born virtuosity and poetic glamour.”
Santiago Rodriguez’ other recordings of repertoire from Bach to Ginastera, all on Élan Recordings, have been acclaimed for their “blazing conviction, tremendous technical strength, unswerving concentration and galvanic excitement…” (American Record Guide). National Public Radio’s Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection recommends three of Mr. Rodriguez’ recordings as “the best available” performances, and his recording of the Rachmaninov and Prokofiev Third Concertos has been internationally acclaimed as one of the best in recorded history; the Chicago Tribune spoke of “the enormous sweep and impeccable control,” and American Record Guide concluded that “this Rachmaninov Third goes immediately to the top of the list.” Mr. Rodriguez has recorded numerous world premieres, including Piano Concerto No. 1 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco; the Concertino for piano, strings, and cymbals of Carlos Surinach; and the Piano Sonata No. 2 of Alberto Ginastera, which was premiered by Mr. Rodriguez at Alice Tully Hall in New York.
Santiago Rodriguez’ international career was launched in 1981 when he won the Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; he also received a special prize for the best performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Touches, a work commissioned for the competition. Mr. Rodriguez’ unique life and artistry were profiled on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kurault in 1993. He has also been featured numerous times on the ABC, NBC, PBS, CNN, BBC, and CBC television networks.
Santiago Rodriguez also enjoys a distinguished reputation as a teacher and master-clinician. Since 1980, he was a member of the Piano Division at the University of Maryland where he held the rank of Professor and Artist-in-residence. Mr. Rodriguez holds a masters degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied on full scholarship as a pupil of Adele Marcus, and he completed his undergraduate studies magna cum laude with William Race at the University of Texas.