American baton makes Boston debut, thanks to visa chaos

American baton makes Boston debut, thanks to visa chaos


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2021

The rising American conductor Roderick Cox is being given an unexpected opportunity to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in mid-November after the Dutcjman Ton Koopman failed to get a visa.

Cox, who won the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, has dates lined up in Munich, Seattle and Cincinnati, but Boston is a big break.

He is managed by AskonasHolt out of London.

In other US visa fallout, British pianist Nicolas Hodges has had to pull out of a Seattle Symphoy Saint-Saens concerto. His replacement is NY-based Alessio Bax.




  • Aleph says:

    Covid is the best thing to happen to American homegrown talent in classical music.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Very talented young man. Someone to watch out for.

    However, some of these opportunities may be coming too quickly.

    The goal is to be invited back not just get the “gig” due to illness.

  • Visa related… Facebook has just been fined several million for hiring foreign workers without looking for US applicants first.

    American orchestras might take note of that.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      The issue of hiring employees is entirely different from that of bringing in guest artists. Hiring of non-residents to full-time positions in engineering and science requires that they obtain an H1-B visa, which is usually given when a firm can demonstrate that they were unable to locate US residents with the requisite expertise.

  • Patricia says:

    I’d rather hear Ton Koopman.

    • Frederick says:

      He will conduct in Sittard (NL) in November and in Genève (CH) in December. Why don’t you book a trip to Europe, Patricia?

  • MNSTA says:

    He is so terrible at conducting. When he was the Associate Conductor at Minnesota Orchestra, he would talk down to the musicians like he is superior to them. He always is very condescending and be thankful you never heard him play his own instrument, French Horn. Boston….very funny.

    • Anon says:

      Dear MNSTA,
      If he is so terrible at conducting why is he getting so many high profile opportunities at the highest levels a young conductor could dream of?

      • BRUCEB says:

        Everyone knows you have to be terrible to make it as a conductor in North America. The higher-level the gig, the more terrible you have to be. Hence the terribleness of Kent Nagano, and the super-terribleness of Alan Gilbert (who, ever since that appointment in New York, seems to have become the worst conductor ever to have walked the earth).

  • debuschubertussy says:

    So happy for Alessio Bax, he deserves these lucky breaks! Incredible pianist.