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Scott Ross


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Scott Stonebreaker Ross was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was nearly crippled by a severe scoliosis which 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 Superior Nationale in Paris, where he was awarded the prestigious Concours de Bruges in 1971.

He then commenced a teaching career at the School of Music, Laval University, Quebec. Whilst there, he made award-winning recordings of the complete Pièces de Clavecin by Rameau. 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 Laval University which 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”.

A passionate collector of orchids, his other hobbies included vulcanology, mineralogy, and mushrooms. His keyboard interests were similarly wide ranging, extending beyond the harpsichord to the music of Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel which he performed on the piano, and he also accompanied Schubert Lieder.

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