Graham Ross


At a glance

Graham Ross


To say he's impressive would be an understatement.
The Telegraph

Graham Ross is Director of Music of Clare College, Cambridge, and Principal Conductor/co-founder of The Dmitri Ensemble. A composer and conductor of a broad repertoire, he has had works performed throughout Europe and beyond.

Biography —

Graham Ross has established an exceptional reputation as a sought-after conductor and composer of a very broad range of repertoire.  His performances around the world and his extensive discography have earned consistently high international praise, including a Diapason d’Or, Le Choix de France Musique, and a Gramophone Award nomination.  Regular guest conducting engagements have included Australian Chamber Orchestra, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Aurora Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, DR VokalEnsemblet (Danish National Vocal Ensemble), European Union Baroque Orchestra, London Mozart Players, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra, and Salomon Orchestra.  He is co-founder and Principal Conductor of The Dmitri Ensemble and, since 2010, Fellow and Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he conducts the internationally-renowned Choir.

In recent seasons his work has taken him to Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, across Europe, and in more than twenty US states.  At the age of 25 he made his BBC Proms and Glyndebourne debuts, with other opera work taking him to Jerusalem, London, Aldeburgh and Provence.  A passionate believer in the unveiling of both unjustly-neglected and newly-written works, he has conducted and recorded world premières of a wide spectrum of composers, including James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, Giles Swayne, Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst, Lydia Kakabadse, Nico Muhly, Jocelyn Pook, Brett Dean and Matthew Martin.  Since 2011 he has recorded exclusively for Harmonia Mundi, including an acclaimed nine-album series of music for the church year, and composer-specific albums of Shostakovich, Imogen Holst, Arvo Pärt, and Benjamin Britten.

As a composer commissions have included BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, O Duo, Park Lane Group, The Prince Consort, Solstice Quartet and the Wigmore Hall. As an animateur and through outreach work he has conducted projects in Tower Hamlets, Wigmore Hall, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and overseas in Nigeria, Palestine, across Europe and the USA.  He has served as Artistic Director of Fringe in the Fen, a music and arts festival in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, and is Director of Singers Abroad, running annual courses for singers of all ages.

He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge and conducting at the Royal College of Music, London.  He held a conducting scholarship with the London Symphony Chorus, has served as assistant conductor for Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Jurowski and Diego Masson, and acted as Chorus Master for Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Ivor Bolton, Edward Gardner, Richard Tognetti and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.

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Reviews —

Clare College has emerged in recent years to the pinnacle of international recognition, and the fact that Graham Ross corrals these young men and women, who turnover every year, into such a unified and tonally suave unit is a testament to his innate musicality and leadership.

Audiophile Audition on 'Mater Ora Filium'

Shostakovich’s music and Rudolf Barshai’s very understanding re-imagining of it is expertly served in these superb performances, both in the technical sense and emotionally... Graham Ross and his expert colleagues make a wonderful case for these works and their outstanding performances have been captured in very fine recorded sound, produced and engineered by John Rutter. I hope that this very fine disc will be followed by recordings of Barshai’s arrangements of the Third and Fourth Quartets.

MusicWeb International - John Quinn on Graham Ross and the Dmitri Ensemble's disc 'Shostakovich - Barshai: Chamber Symphonies' on Harmonia Mundi

The singing and, above all, direction are of such consummate musicianship...

Gramophone - Caroline Gill on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge disc of ‘Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide’ for Harmonia Mundi

This is immensely beautiful singing, the Choir of Clare College under Graham Ross producing a sound which is neatly manicured and has been polished to an almost flawless shine.

International Record Review - Marc Rochester on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge disc of ‘Stabat Mater dolorosa: Music for Passiontide’ for Harmonia Mundi

It made no sense on paper … and yet, in the flesh seemed to tell a story that may well have explained everything. … In the playing (Tognetti particularly lithe in the Brandenburg Concerto moment; the nimble strengths of the vocalists arranged and directed by Graham Ross) … the obvious or cheap was skirted or managed. This had been a crazy brave excursion by the ACO and The Presets. I am almost astonished to realise that it worked.

Sydney Morning Herald - Bernard Zeul on Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Timeline’ project

...impeccable diction… unforced grace… Under Graham Ross this was a virtuoso performance that showed the skill and courage of these young performers at their best.

Cleveland Classical - Nicholas Jones on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge ‘Veni Emmanuel: Music for Advent’ concert in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

The Choir of Clare College sound exceptionally good, hauntingly so… Conductor Graham Ross deserves hearty congratulations for the wonderful precision and passion of the performances… It is a hands-down winner.

Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review - Grego Applegate on The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge disc of ‘Veni Emmanuel: Music for Advent’ for Harmonia Mundi

To get something like this off the ground takes a particular set of talents, and the presiding talent here was the conductor Graham Ross... To say he's impressive would be an understatement.

The Telegraph

Selected Discography —

Mater Ora Filium: Music for Epiphany

This wide-ranging selection from Graham Ross and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, is their most imaginative so far

Financial Times


This is a beautifully programmed and performed disc... Of recordings of the choir and organ version of Duruflé's Requiem, I've heard none better. This, though, is just the crowning point of an engaging and thought-provoking recital, including a perfectly poised and paced Harris Bring us, O Lord God and conductor Graham Ross's exquisite own arrangement of Abide with me.

BBC Music Magazine

Requiem: Music for All Saints & All Souls

the Choir of Clare College, conducted by Graham Ross, summons all its eloquence for a masterpiece of the genre.

Financial Times

Shostakovich / Barshai: Chamber Symphonies

The rendition as a whole is nothing if not fresh and finely poised, the results are superb. Recommended.


Ascendit Deus: Music for Ascensiontide and Pentecost

Splendidly bright...vigorous...haunting effect...all beautifully performed by this accomplished choir. Let’s hope an Easter disc is on its way.


Lux de Caelo: Music for Christmas

Singing-wise, this might just be the best disc of the year. These young voices are game for anything, impeccably drilled and musically sensitive.

Sinfini Music

Stabat Mater Dolorosa: Music for Passiontide

Carefully chosen, elegantly sequenced and excellently sung: one of the most attractive new Easter recordings of the year.

BBC Radio 3

Giles Swayne: Magnificat I; *The silent land Stabat mater; *Ave verum corpus; *Stabat mater

a very worthwhile disc. ... Excellent performances and recordings.

BBC Music Magazine
See full discography

Related Media —

BBC News - How anxiety found a voice

Graham Ross conducts the Aurora Orchestra and the Mind and Soul Choir at Wigmore Hall in the world première of Anxiety Fanfare and Variations for Voices, a new work by acclaimed composer Jocelyn Pook commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation for Anxiety 2014. View on YouTube

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  • Hannah Marsden