“Mischievous and transparent, a rare phenomenon...... every note is savored with thundering and delicate virtuosity. MacDonald maintains a light yet admirably precise leadership of the ensemble." (Leipziger Volkszeitung)
Born outside Providence, Rhode Island, MacDonald’s career commenced in 1988 when Music Director Kurt Masur appointed him Principal Trumpet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig Opera, and musically iconic St. Thomas Church, the latter an historic position held from 1723 to 1734 by renowned baroque trumpeter Gottfried Reiche under the direction of Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Cantor from 1723 until his death in 1750.
Roderick’s trumpet has sounded worldwide in such highly regarded ensembles as the Japan Philharmonic, Virtuosi Saxonia, Bach Collegium Munich, Leipzig Bach Orchestra, Leipzig Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Leipzig, and the Super World Orchestra (Tokyo), as well as his own Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. With a discography of over 25 recordings with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he can also be heard on recordings with numerous other solo, chamber and orchestral albums. One of his solo albums was named "CD of the Month" by the label Naxos.
While principal trumpet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Roderick’s career evolved and grew at the Leipzig Conservatory under the tutelage of Gunter Blumhagen, and Volker Rohde as he earned the degree Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in 1994. The same year he won the ”Deutsche Dirigenten Forum" competition in Leipzig, Germany. In one of his very first performances as conductor he led the Gewandhaus Orchestra in presenting J. S. Bach’s ‘Christmas Oratorio” in Erfurt, Germany with full orchestra, choir and soloists. Soon thereafter appointed music director of the Stelzen Festival Orchestra, led the group for over 20 years and continues to perform in the popular annual summer festival. As Music Director of the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra from 2000 till 2012 he recorded more than 10 cds.
Since his return to the United States, Maestro MacDonald has been a finalist for the prestigious positions of Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony. Since 2014 he has served as Music Director of the New England Symphony Orchestra, and is an Associate Professor of Music at the State University of New York in Fredonia. Roderick Macdonald holds a Masters of Music at New England Conservatory, received the “Leonard Bernstein’ Fellowship at Tanglewood, and was awarded the honorary title of “Kammermusiker” from the City of Leipzig.