Biography

Regarded for his eclecticism and innovative programming, João Rocha has been establishing himself as an exciting conductor, composer, arranger and pianist in demand with orchestras and musicians in Brazil, USA, and Europe. He is the founder and music director and conductor of the Oxford Chamber Ensemble (OCE) and also serves as the Assistant Conductor to the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (UKSO). Mr. Rocha has appeared as conductor at prestigious venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York and the city of Prague's Estates Theater. His compositions have been performed and recorded by orchestras and artists from Brazil and USA. João Rocha develops intense activities as a composer and chamber music performer with the voice and piano duo, Duo Rocha Gândara. The Duo went on its first European tour in the Summer of 2019 having performed in prestigious venues such as the Reduta Café in Prague and the Palácio Foz in Lisbon.

Having received international prizes, Mr. Rocha was recently among the three finalists to the Smoky Mountains International Conducting Competition (USA) in June, 2019. He also was the winner of the "Eleazar de Carvalho's" prize for young soloists and conductors (2012) - the most prestigious Brazilian conductor's competition. As a composer, in 2014 Rocha received the honor prize in the "Maurice Ravel Composer's Competition" (Bergamo / ITA) for his "Post Mortem", as well as in the "Brazilian Music Panorama" (Rio de Janeiro / BRA) for his "Deliriamentos" - both works for symphony orchestra.

Rocha has been under the orientation of conductors such as Marin Alsop (USA), Nicolas Pasquet (Germany), Neil Thomson (England),  Isaac Karabtchevsky and Fabio Mechetti (Brazil). Currently, João is part of maestro's John Nardolillo's studio at the University of Kentucky as a DMA candidate (Orchestral Conducting).

Originally from Brazil, João Rocha earns his Master of Music at the College-Conservatory of Music Cincinnati. As a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Alumni, he studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock and earned a Bachelor of Music at the State Univesity of Campinas (UNICAMP), ranked as the best University of Latin America.