Cellist Erica Snowden-Rodriguez, embodying “wave of change” in classical concert scene

Posted on: September 23, 2021

Erica Snowden-Rodriguez, principal cellist in the Erie Philharmonic and Akron Symphony Orchestra, performs a streamed concert at Performing Arts Collective Alliance in Erie, Pennsylvania, June 2021.

“Anyone looking to take a core sample across the various strata of the Erie alternative music scene could look to the [streamed] concert series at Erie’s Performing Arts Collective Alliance, [which] on a Sunday evening in June [featured] Erica Snowden-Rodriguez, the principal cellist of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and Akron Symphony Orchestra,” writes John Chacona in Wednesday’s (9/22) GoErie (PA). “In many ways, Snowden-Rodriguez, who uses the pronouns they and them, is the embodiment of a wave of change…. The child of a Venezuelan mother and an American-born father, Snowden-Rodriguez is not only Latinx, but also identifies as queer…. In 2008 … Snowden-Rodriguez entered a competition sponsored by the Sphinx Organization [and began] playing with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and … Sphinx Virtuosi chamber orchestra…. Snowden-Rodriguez’s PACA livestream program included works by African-American composers [and] Bach … and ended with an original composition that incorporated the cellist’s voice and live electronics. ‘I’ve always been somebody who really wants to take classical music off its pedestal, and just bring it to the people,’ Snowden-Rodriguez said. ‘For other people to fall in love with something that maybe they didn’t think was for them, I think is incredibly powerful.’ ”