Discovering Bach In the fall of 2015, I embarked on a 33 day journey with the solo works of J. S. Bach. I performed the complete cycle daily, in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of NYC. I chronicled my experience with daily essays, which you can find on the complete blog discoveringbach.com . I look forward to bringing this project to many more cities in the future.
I think of Bach as an architect, and I view these Sonatas and Partitas as one work of art, a complete set. Bach leads us inward through four minor keys, setting the Ciaconna in the deepest part of the work, after which we have the heartbeat of the C major Adagio. Through the purity of C major, we find our way back to earth and Bach ends the cycle with the sweet, exalted joy of the E major Partita. I wanted to create a physical experience of spelling out the cycle in order to feel its cumulative geography. A double journey: the spiritual, musical journey, intersecting with the physical journey through New York City.
Having performed in an M.T.A. bus, the Buzzfeed office, museums, libraries, Coney Island, soup kitchens, police precincts, the High Line, a retirement home, Trader Joe’s, and the Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym, I feel that with a violin I can walk into any room and, without saying anything, have the tools to be able to lead someone to be honest with me. It is a spectacular thought that almost 300 years after Bach left this music to the world, it can reach another person’s soul on the Staten Island Ferry.
With this score, Bach left us a blueprint, as if saying, "build the cathedral." For 33 days, I had the beautiful and humbling experience of building cathedrals all around NYC.
Inaugural Season 2016-2017: October 27th / Bach and Beyond
January 12th / Ich Grolle Nicht
In 2016, the Grand Central Atelier and Eleventh Street Arts named Michelle a Resident Artist. As part of her residency, she uses the gallery as her composition studio, and also launched the inaugural season of Chamber Music at Eleventh Street Arts this year.
Chamber Music at Eleventh Street Arts is a unique chamber music series with a mission to create and foster dialogues between classical music, classical painting, and audiences. Audiences are encouraged to delve deeply into the music, the art, and the Q&A discussion after each performance.
This community of artists at the Eleventh Street Arts gallery and the Grand Central Atelier, founded by Jacob Collins, has become my oasis in NYC!
Music in the Mountains is a premier summer chamber music festival in Eden, Utah, presented annually by Powder Mountain. Inspired by the beauty and spirit of this region, in 2014, violinist and Artistic Director Michelle Ross partnered with Powder Mountain in order to bring the best young classical musicians to Eden. Artists in Residence travel to Eden each season to live and rehearse in this spectacular mountain setting, interact with the community in various outreach events, and culminate their residency by performing concerts inspired by their time in Eden, on the very top of Powder Mountain. All performances are free to the public.
Music in the Mountains maintains a mission to make exceptional live classical music available to all. Music in the Mountains is proud to offer an unforgettable concert experience for both artists and audiences, pairing the outdoor paradise that is Powder Mountain with the gems of the classical repertoire.