Dr. James Ross

James Ross, Trustee, Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC)

James Ross studied at London’s Southbank International School and won scholarships to Harrow School in London and Christ Church at Oxford University, where he studied Modern History and Music; his doctorate on French Opera, Politics and the Press was awarded Oxford’s Sir Donald Tovey Prize. He studied violin, viola and singing, gained extensive orchestral and chamber music experience, and was a 1998 BBC Philharmonic Conducting Competition finalist. Since then he has conducted in eighteen countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. UK performances include at The Royal Festival Hall, Royal
Albert Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Symphony Hall Birmingham, state occasions in Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II, and Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre, for whose 350th anniversary concert he conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

In the UK, he is music director of four orchestras, and Artistic Advisor of The Commonwealth Resounds, a Commonwealth-accredited NGO and registered charity. In this role he has conducted The Commonwealth Festival Orchestra for Heads of Government Meetings in the UK, Sri Lanka and Malta, also conducting concerts and tours in the UK, Turkey and Uganda with the Purcell and Chetham’s Schools and London music colleges and The Royal Over-Seas League.

He has conducted over 1,000 works including the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Tchaikovsky, operas by Bizet, Britten, Janačék, Mozart, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner, and numerous ballet scores. Singers with whom he has worked include Sir Thomas Allen, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Olga Borodina, Danielle de Niese and UK National Opera Studio members.

As a contemporary music conductor, numerous first performances include collaborations with the City of London Sinfonia and Arts Council, at London’s Saatchi Gallery with Philharmonia Orchestra members, and opera productions for Piccolo Theatre Milan and the US Center for Contemporary Opera in New York.

James Ross also has extensive business experience as director of classical music consultancy Ulysses Arts, which provides strategy advice, due diligence, PR an label services to venues, orchestras, soloists and record companies. Clients include
Apple, Deutsche Grammophon, The Berlin Philharmonic, L’Orchestre de Paris, New York’s 21C Media Group, The Julliard School, Meyer Sound Laboratories in Berkeley, The Barbican Centre and Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

As a guest speaker, James Ross lectured at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; he has taught at Oxford University and contributed to books and journals, especially on French music and culture. He has helped raise over £1 million performing for
charities, including conducting English National Ballet in aid of Save The Children’s work with refugees from Syria. He is a Fellow of the UK Incorporated Society of Musicians, and US Conductors Guild and League of American Orchestras member.

Outside of his professional music career, he has advised government ministers on policy matters in the Northern Ireland Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport. James has his own website where more information can be found.