Scott Ross

Born 1 March 1951. Died 13 June 1989.

Biography

Scott Ross (March 1, 1951 – June 13, 1989) was a United States-born harpsichordist who lived in France and Canada for many years. His recordings include the first complete recording by a single performer of the 555 harpsichord sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti.

Scott 'Stonebreaker' Ross was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was nearly crippled by a severe scoliosis that kept him in a corset for much of his early life.

He studied piano and organ in Pittsburgh. Following the death of his father he moved to France with his mother in 1964, where he studied harpsichord at the Conservatoire de Nice. While living in Nice his mother committed suicide when Ross was aged 17. After completing his studies at Nice, he enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris.

In 1971 he was awarded the prestigious first prize of the "Concours de Bruges". Ross also took classes at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp from Kenneth Gilbert.

He then began a teaching career at the School of Music, Université Laval, Quebec. While there, he made award-winning recordings of the complete Pièces de Clavecin by Rameau and also recorded the complete keyboard works of François Couperin. Ross dressed in similar fashion to his students (even in performance), and his 'granny' spectacles appeared to align him more with the popular music icon John Lennon than the authentic performance scholar Gustav Leonhardt. For one concert at Université Laval that was attended by the university chancellor and the French Consul General he wore jeans and a red lumberjack shirt. Self-effacing to a fault, he explained, "I started the Goldbergs 'cause I quit smoking and, to keep one's fingers busy, it's better than knitting".

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