The stereotypical orchestra conductor is a broody spirit—a whirlwind of wild hair, flashing eyes and melodramatic physicality. But the award-winning conductor Roderick Cox has struck a chord, despite his perfectly sensible haircut. At age 32, he has already performed (or will debut this year) with orchestras in Los Angeles, Paris, London and New York. Over cappuccinos near his home in Berlin, Cox took exception to the idea that conducting is defined by physical histrionics. Rather, the success of a conductor is determined by whether they can develop an opinion on a piece of music, and convince an orchestra to tell a new version of an old story. As a black man from Georgia, Cox’s profile offers the overwhelmingly white world of classical music a new perspective: A 2014 study by the League of American This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six Buy Now Related Stories Music Issue 50 Caroline Polachek “The thing that eats at me a little bit is how subjective my music is.... You can’t get away from ‘Caroline Polachek.’” Music Issue 50 Odd Jobs Molly Lewis, professional whistler. Music Issue 50 Behind the Scenes Film composer Emile Mosseri on the art of setting music to film. Music Issue 49 Tove Lo The pop star reflects on the big feelings behind her biggest hits. Music Issue 49 Róisín Murphy Five questions for an art-pop icon. Music Issue 46 Hun Choi DJ Hunee outlines his dance floor philosophy.