Principal Cello, John and Elizabeth Bates Cowles Chair
Dynamic leader of the Minnesota Orchestra’s cello section since 1991, prize-winning cellist Anthony Ross has appeared as soloist many times with the Orchestra, performing all the standard cello concertos under Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart and Eiji Oue. Equally passionate about new music, he has given powerful performances of Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway, James MacMillan’s Cello Concerto, Paul Moravec’s Montserrat, and he and his wife, cellist Beth Rapier, have championed David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos since 1993. Prior to assuming the principal role in Minnesota, Ross performed for four years as principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic under David Zinman.
Ross’ compelling interpretations have won wide acclaim from Moscow to Kalamazoo, and Dallas to Duluth. As concerto soloist, he has played with the Moscow State Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the South Dakota Symphony and many other Midwest regional orchestras.
A cellist of many facets and talents, Ross engages with equal passion as he plays tennis, teaches young cellists and shares the festival stage as a chamber musician or while recording sonatas. Ross has taught at the Eastman School of Music, on the faculties of the Aspen and Grand Tetons Music Festivals and at the Interlochen and Madeline Island Music Camps. His many festival appearances include performances at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Music in the Vineyards, the Colorado Music Festival, the Rhodes Music Festival in Greece, the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, Orcas Island Music Festival and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison. In the Twin Cities, he is a member of Accordo and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota.
Winner of the prestigious bronze medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Ross went on to gain the Stulberg Award, the G.B. Dealy Award and a prize in the Parisot International Cello Competition. He was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship, once as soloist and again in 2005 as part of the Ross Rapier Cello Duo. A graduate of Indiana University where he studied with Fritz Magg, Ross earned another degree at the State University of New York, studying with Bernard Greenhouse and Timothy Eddy.
Ross’ recordings include Leonard Bernstein’s Three Meditations from the Mass with the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue on Reference Recordings, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller on Albany Records, and the sonatas of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter for Boston Records.
Tony likes to tell a joke or a story to the cello section right before going onstage for a concert. His favorite activities are tennis, sailing, hiking and cooking.