Fernando Rocha is professor of percussion at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Brazil. He has a DMA from McGill University, where he studied with D’Arcy Philip Gray and Aiyun Huang. His doctoral studies were focused on the performance of pieces for percussion and electronics. He also holds degrees from UFMG and São Paulo State University, where he studied with John Boudler and Carlos Stasi. As a performer, Fernando Rocha has premiered many percussion works by composers such as Lewis Nielson (USA), Almeida Prado, Silvio Ferraz, Roberto Victorio, Sérgio Freire (Brazil), Nicolas Gilbert, D. Andrew Stewart, Geof Holbrook (Canadá), and João Pedro Oliveira (Portugal). He has also performed many Brazilian premieres, including works by David Lang, Martin Matalon, Frederic Rzewski, and Mauricio Kagel. Fernando has appeared as both soloist and chamber musician in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, USA, Portugal, France and Canada, as well as in the most important music festivals in Brazil. Ongoing work as a chamber musician includes participation in the contemporary ensemble Oficina Música Viva, which just released a CD with works by Portuguese composer João Pedro Oliveira, and a duo with cellist Elise Pittenger, with performances in Canada, the US, and Brazil. Fernando is Musical Director of the contemporary ensemble Sonante 21 and the UFMG Percussion Ensemble. Recent appearances as a lecturer/performer include the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC/2005, 2007 and 2009), the Roots and Rhizomes Percussion Conference at University of California, San Diego (USA, 2007), the “Percussive exchanges” (Echanges percutants! Journées de la percussion du Québec), in Montreal (2007), Sound Symposium, in St. John’s, Newfoundland (Canada, 2008), the Patagônia Percussion Festival (Argentina, 2009), the Latin-American Percussion Festival in Uberlândia (Brazil, 2009), Chile Percussion Festival (2011), and the Uruguay Percussion Festival (2012). In 2007 his electronic music concert/clinic at PASIC was featured in the Oct/2007 edition of the Percussive Notes magazine. In addition to working with contemporary music, he has played jazz vibes with renowned Brazilian musicians such as flutist Mauro Rodrigues, drummer Nenen, and guitar player Magno Alexandre. In 1997 he was awarded a scholarship to study jazz vibes with Joe Locke and Stefon Harris in New York, where he also played with Bobby Sanabria’s Big Band.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Sonante 21, Cello/Percussion Duo with Elise Pittenger, Prof. of Percussion at UFMG (Brazil)
Nexus, John Cage, Steven Schick, Hermeto Paschoal
FAVORITE SABIAN CYMBAL:
HHX Suspended cymbals