James Ross (conductor)

James Ross is a British conductor and author.

James Ross (conductor)


Ross studied at Harrow School, and later at Christ Church, Oxford from where he received an MA in Modern History (1993), an MSt in Music (1994), and a DPhil in French opera (1998) awarded the Donald Tovey Prize. He studied with conductors including Sir Charles Mackerras, Ernst Schelle, Victor Feldbrill and Alan Hazeldine, and was a finalist in the 1998 BBC Philharmonic Conducting Competition.[1]

James Ross conducting the first orchestral concert at Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo, with The Commonwealth Festival Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka

Since graduating he has conducted over 1,000 works in eighteen countries throughout Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, and in Westminster Abbey and leading UK concert halls including the Royal Festival Hall and St. John's, Smith Square, London, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, where he performed Beethoven's 9th Symphony for the 350th anniversary in 2014. [2][3][4][5] In 2013 he gave the first orchestral concert at Sri Lanka's new national performing arts venue, the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo, with the Commonwealth Festival Orchestra.[6][7][8] He is music director of the Oxford Opera Company, the Christ Church Festival Orchestra,[9][10] and from 2006 the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra.[4] Previous positions include with Oxford University Sinfonietta and St Albans Symphony Orchestra.[11][12]

Ross has conducted numerous first performances of new works, including by composers such as Tunde Jegede, Philip Sheppard and Geoffrey Álvarez, at London's Saatchi Gallery,[13] and for Queen Elizabeth II on Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey. In June 2016 he gave the first performance of the opera Love Hurts, composed by Nicola Moro with libretto by Lisa Hilton, at Milan's Piccolo Teatro.[14] Ross is also a director of global classical music production company and consultancy Ulysses Arts.[15]


James Ross has co-written several books and articles on music, including Music in the French Salon, French Music Since Berlioz, Vincent d'Indy l'interprète, and Messidor: Republican Patriotism and the French Revolutionary Tradition in Third Republic Opera. His work has also been published in journals including The English Historical Review, Opera, The Musical Times and Music & Letters.


  • Ross, James, 'Musical Performance in Post-Conflict Societies: Collaboration, Reconciliation and Community Cohesion', Defence Review, Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (Volume II, July 2018). pp. 38–55.
  • Ross, James, Vincent d'Indy l'interprète in Vincent d'Indy et son temps, edited by Manuela Schwartz; Sprimont, Mardaga (2006) ISBN 2-87009-888-X
  • Ross, James, 'Music in the French Salon', in French Music Since Berlioz, edited by Richard Langham Smith and Caroline Potter; Ashgate Press (2006) ISBN 0-7546-0282-6[16][17][18][19]
  • Ross, James (2008) Messidor: Republican Patriotism and the French Revolutionary Tradition in Third Republic Opera in Music, Culture and National Identity in France, 1870–1939, edited by Barbara Kelly; University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1-58046-272-3[20][21]
  • Ross, James, 'D’Indy's Fervaal: Reconstructing French Identity at the Fin-de-Siècle’, Music & Letters 84/2 (May 2003), pp. 209–40.
  • Ross, James, Music & Letters and Opera


  1. ^ "James Ross" Archived 5 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Sidcup Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 19 July 2011
  2. ^ "Джеймс Рос ще дирижира Новогодишния концерт на Филхармонията". Artnovini.com. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Gutsier, Confident Sounds Under the Baton of James Ross". The Sunday Times. Sri Lanka. 28 February 2010. ISSN 1391-0531.
  4. ^ a b "James Ross and SOSL take on Dvorak, Rossini and Bruch". The Sunday Times. Sri Lanka. 29 April 2007. ISSN 1391-0531. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  5. ^ Chorus Mundi
  6. ^ "The Island". Island.lk. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Christ Church Festival Orchestra. Retrieved 19 July 2011
  10. ^ Christ Church Festival Orchestra: The Oxford Times [3]
  11. ^ 'Celebrating 75 years of the St Albans Symphony Orchestra', St Albans Review [4]
  12. ^ Burton, Madeleine. "Long-serving conductor leaves Symphony Orchestra". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Sounds Outstanding- Soviet Gaiety and Musical Responses". Saatchi-gallery.co.uk. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  14. ^ Corradi, Emanuele (25 June 2016). "Milano: Love Hurts – first performance of new opera by Nicola Moro to libretto by Lisa Hilton – Spettacoli Teatro". Spettacoli-teatro.it. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  15. ^ Name * First Last. "Home". Ulyssesarts.com. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  16. ^ Hart, Brian (May 2008). "Reviews of Books: French Music since Berlioz. Edited by Richard Langham Smith and Caroline Potter". Music and Letters. 89 (2): 266–270. doi:10.1093/ml/gcm055. Jeunes Artistes, not Auteurs pp. 55, 82. "James Ross reminds us of the vital role that salons...as composers, performers, and patrons. Ross discusses the varying impact of salons... At their best, as in those by Ross, Simeone, Howat, O'Hagan, and both those......"
  17. ^ Whiteman, Bruce: "James Ross brings welcome attention to the importance of the Parisian salon in French music before World War II..." [5]
  18. ^ James Ross' fascinating survey of the salon traces some vitally important and little explored threads in the fabric of French music.' Hugh Macdonald, Professor of Music, Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
  19. ^ 'A masterly survey of a quintessentially French tradition'! Brio, March 2007
  20. ^ 'A remarkable contribution, and an essential work for those who are interested in French cultural history': Marie-Noelle Lavoie, 'Intersections': Canadian Journal of Music / Revue Canadienne de Musique
  21. ^ 'A compelling statement about the complexity of relationship between politics and art, culture and national identity, especially in fin-de siècle France, but also in many places and times besides... detailed and nuanced; concise, well-argued, and thoroughly documented. ... The volume is historically rooted in the best ways. ... The exploration of this ambivalence [about how French nationalism should be reflected in music] makes for a powerful statement. Accessible to musicologists and historians alike. A model for exploring the often-repeated, yet open-ended connections between music and politics, culture and identity.' Sindhumathi Revuluri, Journal of Musicological Research

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