A New York City native, Baird Dodge joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a violist in 1996. He later moved to the second violin section that same year. In 2002, he was appointed principal second violin by Daniel Barenboim. After studying violin and viola from an early age, Dodge attended the precollege division of the Juilliard School. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Swarthmore College in 1990 and a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1994. His teachers have included Helen Kwalwasser, Gregory Fulkerson and Joyce Robbins.
An avid chamber musician, Dodge has collaborated with such artists as Daniel Barenboim, Isidore Cohen and Ida Kavafian. He also has appeared as a guest artist with the Chicago and Colorado string quartets. He has performed at the Bravo! Colorado Festival, Taos Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival and on Music from Marlboro tours.
Baird Dodge has a special interest in contemporary music. He often has performed works by his father Charles Dodge, including the premiere of his Violin Etudes at Columbia University’s Miller Theater in 1994. He recorded his father’s Viola Elegy for New Albion Records in 1992. In 2006, he premiered and recorded Carillon Sky, a chamber concerto written for him by Augusta Read Thomas, on the CSO’s MusicNOW series with Oliver Knussen conducting. He also has championed the works of composer James Matheson and premiered several of his pieces, including the Violin Concerto, with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the CSO in 2011.