Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Renews Music Director Contract
Posted May 20, 2021 | ASO News, Press Releases,
Alexandria, VA—Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announces it has extended its contract with Music Director James Ross through the 2023-2024 season. Maestro Ross joined the ASO in 2018, appointed as the organization’s fifth Music Director in its 78-year history.
“Maestro Ross has infused the ASO with energy and creativity from the moment he joined the team,” said ASO Board President Melynda Wilcox. “His ability to invent new concert formats and his emphasis on performing works of underrepresented composers has propelled our organization forward and helped us to evolve, particularly in this time of uncertainty and upheaval.”
Ross has led orchestras as diverse as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra. His principal conducting mentors were Kurt Masur, Otto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozama and Leonard Bernstein. Ross also continues to serve as Orchestra Director of the National Youth Orchestra USA at Carnegie Hall. He held a distinguished 16-year tenure as Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland at College Park.
“Jim has been a marvelous colleague,” said ASO Executive Director George Hanson. “His artistic vision elevates the ASO’s importance as a regional cultural force.”
Ross’ innovations have attracted new audiences while the Alexandria Symphony necessarily shifted away from its traditional programming during the pandemic. In the past year, the ASO has produced virtual programs, multiple free community events with 2-8 musicians, and courtyard concerts with repertoire ranging from patriotic tunes to original compositions for strings and bandoneón.
“Having been brought to a screeching halt due to the pandemic, ASO had to find ways of contributing to our world through the medium of music without actually giving orchestra concerts,” says Maestro Ross. “I’m proud of how we’ve pivoted and deepened our commitment to community, to values of equity, diversity, and access, to young people, and to the foundational power of live music. The ASO has become the center of my creative life’s work, and I look forward to us all being a vital part of the transition underway to build a new inclusive future for classical music.”