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Tony Ross – Cellist Extraordinaire

Marlene’s Musings
February 22, 2019

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!

 

A Concert You Don’t Want to Miss

Marlene’s Musings
September, 2013

It has been a fabulous summer!

I have been to a few music festivals, conducted lots of repertoire, met fantastic musicians and learned a ton. But, I miss the WSO and really look forward to getting back on the podium in front of those great musicians who are also some of the greatest people on the planet.

TonyMarleneWebsiteOur first rehearsal is coming up on September 22, 2013. ALL DVORAK! Antonin and Tony – that’s our title for this concert. Tony Ross, principal cellist of MN Orchestra, will play Dvorak’s cello concerto – arguably the most famous of the genre. I can’t wait!

I’ve wanted to program The Noon Witch for a long time. The music tells the story of an unruly little boy whose mother scolds him and threatens that if he doesn’t cease and desist his annoying behavior, the noon witch will take him away. The boy’s behavior is portrayed by agitated and dissonant oboes, and 12 chimes signal the coming of the witch. I don’t want to reveal too much but even without the story the music is brilliant!

Dvorak’s 16 Slavonic Dances were the pieces that made him a household name. We will be doing #9 which opens with the sounds of a raucous party in the Bohemian countryside. The middle section, in the minor key, presents a reflective, mournful melody. Then we return to the fun of the folk music for which Dvorak was fiercely proud.

This is a concert you don’t want to miss.

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