Rodica Gonzalez is an accomplished violinist who has been studying and performing since the age of 4. She has been a member of the first violin section of the Houston Symphony since 1990.
Originally from Romania, Gonzalez studied, as a child, at the George Enescu Music School, giving her first solo performance with an orchestra at the age of 11. As a teenager, she studied with the acclaimed Romanian music teacher, Modest Iftinchi, at the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest. In the mid-eighties she was awarded scholarships at prestigious music academies in Italy and Switzerland. It was then that she had the opportunity to meet and study with Sergiu Luca, who was at Houston’s Rice University. Her life took an exciting turn when Luca invited her to study with him at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. She received her master’s degree in music at Rice University in 1990.
Early in her career, Gonzalez performed with the Houston Ballet Orchestra and was concertmaster and soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra in Keystone, Colorado. She was winner of the Shepherd School Concerto Competition as well as the Campanile Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has been soloist with the Houston Symphony on many occasions, including the Sounds Like Fun! music festival.
In the spring of 1996, Gonzalez embarked on her first solo tour of Switzerland and her native Romania. Since then, she has performed extensively as a recitalist and in chamber ensembles in Romania, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. She has performed as a soloist with the Bucharest and Constanta Philharmonic, Doctor’s Orchestra of Houston, Galveston Symphony, the Houston Civic Symphony, and Houston Chamber Orchestra, where she was concertmaster. She is the founding violinist of the Tre Voci Trio and the Fidelis Quartet, ensembles that perform extensively in Houston and other parts of the United States.
Gonzalez has had the great honor of performing at Carnegie Hall several times. She performed her debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2002 with her colleague John Hendrickson and had the privilege of returning twice with Tre Voci and pianist Ilgin Aka. She performed again in Carnegie Hall with the Fidelis String Quartet and was privileged to be invited back to perform with her sister Mihaela and pianist Ilonka Rus. In June 2011, Gonzalez performed a program of Brahms and Piazzola in Carnegie Hall with the Fidelis Quartet, flutist Judy Dines and clarinetist Danny Granados. This program was released in 2019 on CD by Delos label to rave reviews.
Music is the centerpiece of Gonzalez’s life, more than a profession, it is her avocation and passion. Of her playing, Atencion San Miguel wrote that she “uses the most delicate and articulate phrasing in her playing, yet her capriciousness at times yields the exciting singing of strings that audiences revere…her playing shows a polished and confident style.”
In addition to her performing duties, Gonzalez enjoys teaching young, aspiring musicians. She taught for many years at Houston Baptist University and is now on the faculty of The University of Saint Thomas. She and her husband Robert are proud parents of their son, Matthew.