Cellist Tony Ross staying at Minnesota Orchestra

Tony Ross warming up before a Symphonic Adventure concert at South High School in Minneapolis Euan Kerr/MPR News

While the larger question of whether conductor Osmo Vanska will return as Minnesota Orchestra music director is still open, another question troubling Minnesota Orchestra fans has been resolved: Principal Cellist Tony Ross will remain with Minnesota.

Ross was in contention for a job in Chicago, but today said he’s sticking around.

“I turned down the Lyric Opera of Chicago,” he said this morning before a special Symphonic Adventures concert at South High School in Minneapolis. Ross has been at the Minnesota Orchestra for a quarter century and is an audience favorite.

He said he and his wife have decided to stay. “We decided to, I won’t say take a risk, but have faith that this orchestra will remain, as it was, world class,” he said. “And we are thrilled to be re-dedicating ourselves to this community.

Ross was prominent as a musicians negotiating committee member during the 16 month lockout. His forceful attacks on management policies led to him being known to some as “the angry cellist,” a moniker he laughs about now.

Meanwhile, Vanska confirmed he is continuing to negotiate with the Minnesota Orchestral Association about a possible return. After the morning concert he talked at length about the importance of playing concerts for young musicians. However when asked about the talks, he said he could say little.

“The talks are on. And they are still going,” he said. When told that was a good sign, he laughed, apparently in agreement.

  • Jon Eisenberg

    This is great news! Thanks for sticking with us, Tony!

  • Mark Carter

    Thanks Tony! Your playing this season has been spectacular as usual. I think the cello section has not audibly suffered at all. I’m sure that is testimony to your dedication and leadership.