A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Roderick MacDonald began his musical studies at a young age. As a child, he received private instruction on both piano and trumpet. His passion for music continued to grow as he advanced through his youth. In 1982 he was awarded the prestigious “Leonard Bernstein Fellowship” at The Tanglewood Institute for trumpet study. He went on to earn degrees in Mechanical Engineering at University of Rhode Island (B.S. 1986) and Music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston (M.M. 1988). Upon completion of his masters degree at New England Conservatory, Kurt Masur, then Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, appointed him principal trumpet (1989). His career as a concert soloist began shortly after this appointment and has since appeared worldwide as a trumpet soloist with highly regarded ensembles including: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic, Virtuosi Saxonia, Bach Collegium Munich, Leipzig Bach Orchestra, Leipzig Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Leipzig, Kammerphilharmonie Leipzig, and the Super World Orchestra (Tokyo). Most recently, Mr. MacDonald appeared as a soloist with the Norwalk Symphony in Connecticut. With a discography of over 25 recordings with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he can also be heard on recordings with the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, solo recordings, and numerous other chamber and orchestral albums. One of his solo albums was named "CD of the Month" by Naxos in December 2003.
Roderick MacDonald also excels as an orchestral conductor. A conducting pupil of Maestro Kurt Masur, Roderick MacDonald has enjoyed considerable success throughout Germany and the United States. He also returned to the U.S. to attend the Conductor's Seminar at The Tanglewood Institute where he studied with Maestro Bernard Haitink. He completed his formal conducting studies at the Leipzig Conservatory earning a Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting (1994). In this same year he was announced as the winner of the “Deutsche Dirigenten Forum”, a conducting competition in Leipzig. In 2001, Mr. MacDonald received the Honorary Title of "Kammermusiker" from the city of Leipzig. Since his return to the U.S., Maestro has been a finalist for the position of Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic (1997) and Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony (2005). He returns to Germany each February to conduct members of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in a benefit concert for cancer research for children which he began in 2000. In June 2009, Mr. MacDonald served as a guest conductor with the MDR Orchestra at the Dresden Music Festival. He recently completed a recording project with flautist Gudrun Hinde-Hoenig of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
Mr. MacDonald is currently Associate Professor of Music at SUNY Fredonia as well as on the Brass Faculty at St. Georges School in Newport, RI. He also maintains an active performing and conducting career. Mr. MacDonald has held master classes at various music schools across the United States including Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory and Purchase College, State University of New York. Mr. MacDonald currently resides in Newport, RI and Fredonia, N.Y.