Percussion: James Ross
James Ross was born in Cincinnati and educated in the Chicago area. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1971. His teachers have included Roy C. Knapp, G. Allan O’Connor, and Vic Firth. Jim has been a percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1979. He made his solo debut with the orchestra in 1986 performing Milhaud’s “Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra” under the direction of Erich Leinsdorf and also participated as one of the soloists in Steve Reich’s “Three Movements for Orchestra” with Michael Tilson Thomas in 1994. He was a member of the Grant Park Symphony from 1973 to 1978 and returned to that orchestra in the summer of 1993 as a soloist in Toru Takemitsu’s “From me flows what you call time.”
Mr. Ross is active as a chamber musician, having performed and recorded with such groups and organizations as Chicago Pro Musica, Chamber Music Chicago, the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, Summit Brass, and the Vermeer Quartet. In 1995, Jim Ross performed Bartok’s “Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion” with pianists Daniel Barenboim and Andras Schiff on the Lexus Great Performers Series at Orchestra Hall. He also frequently participates in the Chicago Symphony’s ballroom chamber music series and the CSO’s Contemporary Music Series.
James Ross is involved in education through master classes that he has presented at Bands of America World Percussion Symposium, clinics at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and the Chicago Symphony’s in-school ensemble program. He serves as the percussion coach for the Chicago Civic Orchestra and is on the faculty at Northwestern University.