Matthew Ross

Flute

Hometown: Nesconset, NY

Alma mater: University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, B.M., M.M.

Instagram: @matt_ross93

Photos by Matt Dine

Profile

Awards/Competitions: 2nd Prize, 2018 Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Young Artist Competition; 1st Prize, 2015 Raleigh Area Flute Association Young Artist Competition; 1st Prize, 2014 Mid-South Flute Society Young Artist Competition; 1st Prize, 2014 Houston Flute Club (Byron Hester Memorial) Competition; 2nd Prize, 2013 Texas Flute Society (Myrna Brown Memorial) Competition; 2nd Prize, 2013 South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition; Winner, 2012 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition

Appearances: Queen City Chamber Opera, Cincinnati, OH, 2012–16; National Music Festival, Chestertown, MD, 2013, 2014

What inspired you to audition for TŌN? I was first told about TŌN by Judith Mendenhall, a prominent flutist in NYC. I was freelancing in the city at the time, but I was really looking to get more orchestral experience. TŌN sounded like the perfect opportunity to hone my orchestral skills while still staying connected around NY.

Who is your biggest inspiration? My parents are my biggest inspiration. Neither of them are musicians, but they have a sense of tenacity that is admirable in any field. When they say they’re going to do something, it gets done with full commitment. I try to apply that drive in my work as well.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? As a flutist, French music of the late 19th Century into the early 20th Century is the most exciting music to play. The “French School” of flute playing that was developed by Paul Taffanel at the Paris Conservatoire was a source of inspiration for many composers at the time, and they were using the flute to its fullest timbral capacity. As a performer, it’s a true exploration of sound and color.

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, for all of the reasons mentioned above! It’s extraordinarily difficult for the flute (and the rest of the wind section as well), but there are so many chances to show personality.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? I would tell my younger self to remember to have fun. Music doesn’t always have to be so serious, and a balance in life is more important than almost anything else.

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Bombay Bicycle Club

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? The violin. They get all the good rep.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? I’d probably be in A&R (artists & repertoire) for a record label. I really love pop and alternative music, especially artists who really blur the lines between the two, so I think it would be very interesting to try and spot new talent and new trends in popular music.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: This is one of the most difficult career paths you can choose for yourself. Be absolutely certain that this is the only thing you can see yourself doing with your life. If you have even just a moment of hesitation, it might not be the right job for you, and that’s ok! However, if you’re willing to fully commit to this life, it can be one of great reward, excitement, and fulfillment.