I have known about Tony Ross for years. When I played clarinet in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, he substituted in the cello section a few times. Soon after, he auditioned for the Principal Cello spot in the Minnesota Orchestra and won. None of us were surprised.
When I became Music Director of the Wayzata Symphony, I mustered my courage and asked him to play a concerto with us. How lucky we were when he said yes and even suggested to perform David Ott’s Double Concerto with his wife, Beth Rapier, Assistant Principal Cello of MN Orch.
Tony is a musician’s musician – phenomenal technique, gorgeous sound, heart-stopping expression. But, beyond all of that he is so genuine and generous. He performs with us because he believes in community and that music is for everyone, as performers and listeners. No matter what, it’s all about the music with him. He always offers spot-on, constructive comments to help us lift the music off the page.
His performances of Weinberg’s Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra are coming up soon – February 24 at Wayzata Community Church and March 3 at Orchestra Hall. They will be fifth and sixth times he has performed with us. How lucky for us!
I am so happy we get a chance to showcase his incredible artistry as he performs a piece he requested and one that has never been performed in Minnesota. Who better than Tony Ross to introduce it!