Violist Samantha Rodriguez serves as assistant principal third chair of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she was third chair of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of their viola section for 9 years. Ms. Rodriguez is also a frequent substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra and is principal violist of the Lakes Area Music Festival, of which she is a founding artist.
An avid chamber musician, Samantha plays in chamber ensembles for L.A.M.F. throughout the year for communities in Minnesota, and has performed in groups for audiences across upstate NY, Colorado Springs and central Florida. In 2012, after attending and being inspired by the International Viola congress, Ms. Rodriguez formed a viola trio with her two closest friends. Together, they decided to enter chamber music competitions and thus the Voila viola trio was born. The trio placed 2nd in the M.T.N.A. national chamber music competition and were the very first all viola ensemble to be finalists at the prestigious Coleman competition. Currently, Ms. Rodriguez is making her way in her new city of Milwaukee, and has begun to perform in a few chamber music series with various members of the symphony.
As a soloist, Samantha has had the privilege of performing with the Eastman Philharmonia, symphony and chorale, the Geneseo symphony and the L.A.M.F orchestra. Eastman School of Music being her alma mater, she received a bachelor and master of music, as well as a performer’s certificate under the tutelage of George Taylor.
Teaching is a very important part of Ms. Rodriguez's life. She has enjoyed working with students from age 5 to 80 either privately or at various institutions including the Eastman School of Music and community music division, S.U.N.Y. Geneseo, ROCmusic, and the Hochstein School of music and dance, among others. This past year, she was appointed as a teaching artist for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as M.S.O. concertmaster Frank Almond’s honors chamber music program.
In her spare time, Ms. Rodriguez loves to sing. She has enjoyed being a member of different choirs and relishes the chance to sing a gospel solo. She also likes to bake and spend lots of cuddle time with her very needy cat named Charles.