A native of Chile, Rodolfo Fernandez graduated from the University of Santiago with a Master's in Music Performance. Winner of the 1960 National Student Competition in Music Performance, he was awarded a position with Orquesta Filarmonica de Chile. In 1961 he received an international grant for Young Performing Artists from the Rockefeller Foundation and wassubsequently appointed Asst. Principal Cellist with the Atlanta Symphony. Performed as Principal cellist with the Ft. Lauderdale Symphony, Miami Opera Company, the Louisiana Symphony, and the Tampa Philharmonic, among others.
As Professor in the Music Department of the University of South Florida, Tampa, Fernandez twice received a Ford Foundation Grant to participate in the American Orchestra National Competition. He was selected as Principal Cellist of the Daytona Beach Music Festival sponsored by the London Symphonic Orchestra. At this time he attended master classes and performed with Sir Nelson Cooke, Andre Previn, Richard Burgin and, Simon Goldberg. Professional career as a concert cellist and guest artist includes national and international tours with the North Carolina Symphony, Louisiana Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Bogota, and the Swiss Chamber Orchestra. He made his national debut as a concert cellist June 1972, Carnegie Recital Hall.
Fernandez was a founding member and leader of the Nevada String Quartet which presented a full season of classical music annually from 1975-1982, later formed the Serenata Violoncello Trio which toured statewide under the sponsorship of the Nevada Humanities Committee in 1983 and 1984. In 1985, as Conductor and Music Director, he founded the Serenata Chamber Orchestra. His national debut as a conductor was at Moscone Center, San Francisco, June 1986. He was appointed Ambassador of Culture of Las Vegas by Mayor Bill Briare. In 1989 the orchestra name changed to the Nevada Chamber Symphony. In 1994, he worked to establish the Nevada Chamber Symphony as a non-profit association in Nevada
1999 Millenium Governor's Arts Award Recipient for Service to the Arts in Nevada.
2010 recipient of Senatorial Commendation and Proclamation - Senator Steven A. Horsford
Fernandez currently maintains a position as Conductor and Music Director of the Nevada Chamber Symphony. Heesigns and develops the NCS Educational Outreach Programs Ear-Openers, and Night at the Symphony, interactive multi-discipline music education programs for elementary school students. Project Coordinator of Invitation to Play, and Orquesta Futura young artists development programs created in cooperation with the Southern Nevada Music Teachers Association.
He was founding Conductor and Music Director of the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, North-Central California. Additional professional activities include: Guest Conductor, Topanga Symphony at Los Angeles, Guest conductor San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, Scripps College. Conductor for the Clark County Community College annual International Piano Competition and Chamber Music Festival in cooperation with Dr. Victor Hugo Alvarez. Music collaborator and Associate publisher with Dr. Paul Alvarez, University of Barcelona, Spain Advanced Training Manual and Repertoire for string musicians. Projected publication date: Spring 2014. Select arrangements and orchestrations for string ensembles are currently being prepared for publication by Marcado Productions for national and international distribution.
Fernandez is featured in the promotional video "Only in Las Vegas," which has aired worldwide through the Discovery Channel. He was music Collaborator and orchestrator for Zaretsky Productions, Scottsdale, AZ, for promotional video entitled "In Concert," featuring the Nevada Chamber Symphony, which has won national and international awards and is currently in distribution throughout the United States, Europe and South America as a motivational resource for Rhone-Poulenc, a worldwide corporation.