John and Elizabeth Bates Cowles Chair
Principal Cello Anthony Ross joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1988 and assumed the principal cello post in 1991. He has been a soloist many times with the Orchestra, performing concertos by Schumann, Dvořák, Victor Herbert, James MacMillan, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Shostakovich, as well as many chamber works. He was most recently featured as soloist in in June 2017 performing Bloch's Schelomo.
In recent seasons Ross has performed Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante for Cello and Orchestra, the Walton Cello Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto, the latter alongside former First Associate Concertmaster Sarah Kwak. In April 2014 he was soloist in performances of Eric Whitacre’s The River Cam, with the composer conducting. At Sommerfest 2014 he performed Prokofiev’s Sonata for Cello and Piano with Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton.
Before joining the Minnesota Orchestra, Ross was principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic. Away from Orchestra Hall, he is active as a chamber musician, festival performer and educator. He is a member of Accordo, a chamber group made up of principal string players from the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also performs with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. He has appeared in the Mostly Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, Cactus Pear (San Antonio), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Madison) and Orcas Island festivals, and has performed on stages from Pensacola, Florida, to Rhodes, Greece. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Festival and the Grand Teton orchestra seminar.
Ross’ recordings include Bernstein’s Three Meditations with the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller, and works of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter for Boston Records.
A graduate of Indiana University, Ross earned a master’s degree at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 1982 he was awarded the bronze medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, and he received McKnight Fellowships in 2001 and 2005. Together with his wife Beth Rapier, the Minnesota Orchestra’s assistant principal cello, Ross produces the annual “Harmony for Habitats” benefit concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church in south Minneapolis.