Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Renews Music Directors James Ross’ Contract through 2027

Posted Apr 16, 2024 | Press Releases, 

ALEXANDRIA, VA— April 16, 2024 —The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce that ASO Music Director and Conductor James Ross has been named Director of Orchestral Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music starting in the 2024-25 school year. Mr. Ross will continue to serve as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, having recently renewed his contract with the ASO for another three years.

ASO Executive Director George Hanson states, “Since arriving in Alexandria in 2018, Jim has infused the ASO with energy and creativity. We are thrilled that Jim is continuing his role as ASO’s Music Director and are very pleased with the opportunities that his role with the Curtis Institute of Music will bring to our orchestra.”

James Ross is a native of Boston, Curtis alum, an improviser, a horn-blower, a dogged questioner of concert rituals, a man who likes to move, a phrase-shaper, and a firm believer in the humanizing impact of classical music on the lives of those it touches. Fueled by these traits, Mr. Ross is in his sixth season as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, where he has created memorable concert events for ASO’s expanding audience and elevated the profile of the ASO among regional orchestras.

Ross is well known for his expertise in orchestral training: he is the founding orchestra director of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, where he oversees all artistic and educational activities during the orchestra’s annual summer residency and served as professor at the University of Maryland from 2001 to 2017. For the last two academic years, Mr. Ross has been helping the Cur􀆟s orchestra establish strong roots together and encouraging their artistry to grow and flourish. For three weeks this past September, Mr. Ross worked with Curtis’s students developing trust in their own ability to learn music quickly and meaningfully—skills they will rely on their entire careers.

He has led the National Youth Orchestra of the USA as orchestra director since its founding in 2013 and taught conducting at the Juilliard School since 2011 and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia since 2022. He served as professor and director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland for 16 years and was also music director of the Orquesta Simfònica del Vallès in Barcelona, Spain. Mr. Ross’s principal conducting teachers were Kurt Masur, Oto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein. He was artistic director of the National Orchestral Institute (NOI) at the University of Maryland from 2002 to 2012 where his leadership helped served as an impetus for change in the orchestral landscape of our country.