Ross Lyness is a professional musician, educator and facilitator. Following ten years of living and working in London and Barcelona, Ross moved home to County Down in 2010 where he now lives with his violinist wife and their two daughters. With a primary degree in Law and a Masters in Trombone Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Ross has refined and channeled his diverse interests and strengths into a multi-faceted career combining professional performance at international level with holding key managerial roles within a variety of arts organisations, whilst continuing to teach and coach the next generation.
As a freelance trombonist, Ross performs regularly across a wide variety of genres including solo and chamber music, contemporary and new music, jazz and big band, orchestral, opera and commercial work for television and radio.
Ross travels extensively to work joining the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Orchesta Nazionale della RAI, Turin, Orquesta de Grand Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, which Ross visits several times a year as Guest Principal Trombone.
Ross also appears regularly with all of the professional orchestras in Ireland and has held the position of Principal Trombone with the Wexford Opera Festival Orchestra since 2013. Other recent highlights include playing principal trombone in the collaborative production of ‘The Magic Flute’ by Mozart with Irish National Opera and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, as well as tours of South America, Europe and the USA with the ICO.
A keen chamber musician, Ross is trombonist with Artemis Brass, a quintet who focus on recital performances, recording and education work. Ross is also a member of the Belfast Ensemble, a dynamic group pushing the boundaries of collaboration between music, theatre, art and dance.
In August 2018, Ross was invited to join the European Brass Collective, performing in the opening concert of the annual Brucknertage in Austria to great critical acclaim. Other recent chamber highlights include performances of Stravinsky’s ‘A Soldier’s Tale’ in the MAC Belfast and the Kilkenny Arts Festival with the Fews Ensemble, featuring Irish actor, Ciaran Hinds, as the narrator/devil.
Ross’s administrative skills emerged early - while still in university, he co-founded and managed Orchestral of Musicians of Northern Ireland (OMNI), uniting professional Irish diaspora abroad with current music students for a number of ambitious projects culminating in a performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. This aptitude for clear-thinking and efficiency in combination with his strong musical background led to work as a freelance orchestral and event manager, a number of years as Concept Developer for start-up tech company Classical Music Homepage - an ambitious and forward-thinking online musician’s resource based in London and, more recently, as General Manager of Camerata Ireland. Ross’s achievements with the latter include international tours to China, France, India and Finland, and the successful and highly acclaimed digital ‘Clandeboye at Home’ festival - a 250th anniversary celebration of Beethoven, featuring the complete Piano Concertos with Barry Douglas, recorded live from Clandeboye Estate and streamed to audiences across the globe. Ross also implemented the orchestra’s residency at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and established new educational partnerships with the Cork School of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
As a teacher and coach, Ross draws on his own extensive performing experience and knowledge of the industry. Mentors have included his own teachers Eric Crees, Simon Wills and John Kenny at the Guildhall and David Rejano Cantero in Barcelona, as well as more oblique influences like Jesper Busk-Sørensen of the Berlin Philharmonic and breathing guru and international pedagogue, Kristian Steenstrup. Their combined teachings and perspectives have resulted in Ross taking an international and well-rounded approach to musical education; via his private teaching, his students in the City of Belfast School of Music and in Methodist College, Belfast, in his roles as coach with the Fermanagh and Tyrone Brass Band Summer School and the Cyprus Youth Orchestra, and in his management roles when initiating and implementing education strategy.
With two school-age children of his own currently navigating their own musical journeys, Ross is very much attuned to the pedagogical needs and requirements of young people in today’s society and is particularly invested in the effects and benefits of a holistic learning environment.