What is your musical background?
I was educated at The Universities of Sydney and Adelaide and I hold a Doctor of Music degree from each. My teachers included Richard Meale, Peter Sculthorpe, Sandor Veress and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, with whom I also I studied in London in the early 1970s. I’ve taught at The Sydney Conservatorium, where I’m currently an Adjunct Professor. After 50 years as a professional composer, I’ve produced music in all major forms. My sound world, which emanates from Australia’s natural environment, especially birdsong and the mysterious patterns and drones of insect life, reflects my awareness of the need to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore its traditional association with ritual.
What is your advice to singers performing your works?
Combine fearless joy with attention to detail.
Find songs by Ross:
What are your favourite pieces you’ve composed?
Among my most popular pieces are probably Dawn Mantras, composed for an international telecast to greet the new millennium, and my violin concerto Maninyas. Among vocal pieces, my favourite is perhaps Mass of the Dreaming.