About Ross Thompson
English-born Composer and Concert Guitarist Ross Thompson (b. 1967)spent his childhood in Puerto Rico before moving with his family to the United States. Mr. Thompson has performed internationally as a soloist and has been invited by a number of festivals and schools to perform and teach including the International Festival of Contemporary Classical Music (Lima, Peru FIMCCL), Leo Kestenberg Musikschule Berlin Tempelhof-Schöneberg (Germany), Mozarteum of Uruguay (Montevideo), Seoul National University (South Korea), National Conservatory of Music (Rio Gallegos, Patagonia, Argentina), Peruvian North American Cultural Institute (ICPNA), San Francisco Performances (USA), and the National Conservatory of Peru (Lima).
Mr. Thompson has received commissions for original music from various institutions including California Shakespeare Festival (USA), Leo Kestenberg Musikschule (Germany), and the Nano Institute of Seoul National University (South Korea). He is a first prizewinner in the American String Teachers Association National Competition (ASTA).
Currently, Mr. Thompson lives in California. In addition to performing, teaching, and composition, Mr. Thompson is a publisher of music. His Editions Ross Thompson Publications print music catalog includes over one thousand pages of original compositions and a discography of five recordings. The entire catalog is available for download at issuu.com/ertpublications .
Most recently he and concert flautist Natalia Kaminska-Palarczyk travelled to Korea for a third tour performing in Seoul. The tour was sponsored by the Seoul National University and will include a return to Korea in 2013 to debut a newly commissioned work for Flute, Kayagum, and Guitar. Highlights of the 2012-2013 seasons included a performance of his first symphony for orchestra, a work for guitars and strings dedicated to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In May of 2011 his Kestenberg Guitar Quartet was performed in Berlin at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut and the Festival of Contemporary Music (Original Töne Festival) (Musikschule Paul Hindemith). In 2010 he traveled to South Korea to debut a commissioned original program for solo guitar (Namsan/South Mountain).
Ross Thompson serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music preparatory division. His dedication and excellence as a professor of guitar has earned him an honorary seat, dedicated in his name, in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall. During his higher education, he completed his masters and post-graduate degrees at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at the Royal College of Music in London
In addition to performances of repertoire and original work, Mr. Thompson has taught classes throughout the world in locations including Germany, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and South Korea.
The 2010 - 2011 concert seasons included a tour of South Korea with concerts in Yonghin, Pajoo, and Seoul. The tour was sponsored by Seoul National University (SNU) with a series of concerts commemorating the foundation of the university’s Institute of Nano Science. The invitation included a substantial commission for a major work for guitar solo, Namsan/South Mountain.
In 2009 Mr. Thompson toured South America with concerts and master classes in Buenos Aires, Uruguay, and Peru. The tour included performances with the Uruguayan guitarist-composer and Savarez recording artist, Carlé Costa. A highlight included a performance in one of the southernmost regions of South America at the Auditorium Complejo Cultural in Rio Gallegos, Patagonia, Argentina.
In 2009 Mr. Thompson was invited by the Peruvian North American Cultural Institute (ICPNA) to perform in Lima. In 2008 he was invited to teach and perform by the Leo Kestenberg Musikschule (Tempelhof-Schöneberg) in Germany including concerts in Berlin and the region of Bayern. From 2003 to 2007 he represented the performance organization San Francisco Performances as a teacher and mentor for students in the San Francisco bay area. In 2007 he established Editions Ross Thompson Publications (ERT) and released three printed volumes of original work and matching recordings on the web. The collection, currently at over 500 pages, represents his contribution to the repertoire. Mr. Thompson toured South Korea for the first time in 2007 with concerts in Seoul and the coastal city of Hyundai.
Since 2003 Mr. Thompson (BA, MA, AS U.K.) has been a professor of guitar studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory, one of the most successful music programs for young people in the United States. His students have gone on to attend prestigious universities and music schools throughout the world. Mr. Thompson toured Argentina for the first time in 2001 including solo concerts in Buenos Aires, La Plata, and a performance at the historic Teatro Colón in Mar de Plata. In 1998 Mr. Thompson was a composer for the California Shakespeare Theater, Orinda. His music was met with critical acclaim by San Francisco Chronicle’s Steve Winn who wrote, “Ross Thompson’s fiery score and seductive underscoring outshine the verse…”
During his higher education Mr. Thompson’s principal guitar teachers were David Tanenbaum at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1994) and Carlos Bonell at the Royal College of Music in London (1991). During his secondary education he studied with Scott Kritzer in Portland, Oregon (Reed College, 1986). Mr. Thompson studied harmony and counterpoint with David Conte, Conrad Susa, Elinor Armer, and David Garner (San Francisco Conservatory of Music 1986 - 1994). In twentieth century composition techniques he studied with Alden Jenks and Robert Greenberg (SFCM 1992 - 1994).
“Ross Thompson’s fiery score and seductive underscoring outshine the verse…”
- Steve Winn, San Francisco Chronicle/SF Classical Voice
“Sounding like ‘Dowland meets the 20th Century’, Ross’s music is a very original and interesting creation. His use of polyphonic techniques and forms brings forth moods and ideas in a very natural and intelligent manner. He plays with wonderful sensitivity and clarity.”
- Dušan Bogdanović, Geneva Conservatory
“The thinking of this guitarist composer runs directly, logically, and consistently with the crushing coherence of the contrapuntalist. His interpretations have the value of being extremely clear with far reaching control and supported by a brilliant sound and great presence. That is why the polyphonic texture from the shortest bursts to the long space of the Sonata develops with serene naturalness. A modernity absolutely not cryptical, that chooses the master road of the past to rephrase it by autonomy and originality, not an erudition or musical archeology but rather an exploration and appropriation of a language.”
- Elena Caneva
Seicorde, “Quei contrappunti chaiari e brillanti…” (Italian Guitar Magazine)
Costa/Thompson Live in Buenos Aires
Costa/Thompson Contemporary Guitar Duo
Ross Thompson Live in California
Ross Thompson and the Kestenberg Quartet Live in Berlin
About Ross Thompson