GUILFORD — Solo artist, collaborative visionary, and violinist Michelle Ross is coming to Vermont– a place she loves, with the music of the composer she loves so much, Bach. In a spring concert at the Guilford Center Meeting House on Saturday benefiting the Guilford Free Library, Ross will perform an all-Bach solo violin recital on Saturday to play Partita No. 2 in D Minor and Partita No. 3 in E Major.
An acclaimed violinist extolled as "Renaissance Woman," Ross knew she wanted to be a violinist at the age of five when she first held a violin to her chin in a public school music program and loved it. She went on to study at The Julliard School and has since performed with Maestro Harry Bicket in Zankel Hall, and with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris as soloist and conductor in Cite de La Musique, Paris. She was the recipient of the 2012 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts. She frequently collaborates with Itzhak Perlman, Denes Varjon, Joseph Swensen, members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Cleveland String Quartets. Festival appearances also include Music@Menlo, Lucerne Festival, Perlman Music Program, Kneisel Hall.
She is also a composer and improviser. Her work, "Square None" has toured with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for four straight seasons. She has had premieres in the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Joyce Theater, and in Lincoln Center's Beyond the Machine Festival. Ross is the founder and artistic director of Music in the Mountains, a chamber music festival atop Powder Mountain in Ellen, Utah. She holds a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.M. from the Juilliard School. She has studied with Dorothy DeLay, Itzhak Perlman, Catherine Cho, Ronald Copes
Her love of the area grew out of the four summers she participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, from 2011 to 2014, where she developed a close friendship with fellow participant Judith Serkin (and founding member of Brattleboro Music School). Having also collaborated with Serkin in the past in a performance in Brattleboro, when Ross mentioned she would love to play in Vermont again Serkin, who also is a trustee of the Guilford Free Library, suggested the spring concert and Ross agreed enthusiastically.
It was perfect timing too.
Fresh off performing 33 straight days in a solo Bach cycle throughout New York City, Ross chronicled her journey on a blog, DiscoveringBach.com. She said that when playing up close with people in a variety of locations she was able to try different things each time and see the reactions of her listeners, learning from the experience while at the same time developing a very close relationship with Bach's music. She said, " I think Bach is an amazing composer, he reaches you immediately. Bach has changed and affected every composer since him. Every violinist will spend their life playing his pieces. Bach is 'The Bible.'" But, Ross added, even though as a composer she has learned much from Bach, her identity as a composer is not directly inspired by him.
Following her NYC experience in which solo performances have been her focus, Saturday's concert is a fitting way to top off the journey.
Ross said, "Vermont is just one of those magical places in my mind and any chance I get to breathe the air, I'll take it. I have been looking forward to coming here. Also, I am a lover of literature so to do this for the library, I am happy to do it."
To learn more about Michelle Ross visit www.michellerossviolin.com.
The Bach springtime concert of the solo violin will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Guilford Center Meetinghouse, 4042 Guilford Center Road, next to the library. Tickets are by donation to benefit this small community library, one of the oldest, continuously operating public libraries in Vermont. They are available at the door. For more information call 802 257-4603.
Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.