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Scott Stonebraker Ross (1951-1989) was at a time considered an eminent harpsichord performer and scholar. While his prowess as a recording artist in the 1980s is well known, his earlier life story is not.


Told by the music he recorded, the images and films that depict him, and the words of those who knew him, Stonebreaker will trace the life story of an artist who has remained unknown outside of classical music circles.

Follow us as we trace Scott’s story from the humble roots of his great-grandparents in rural Pennsylvania through a chance rags-to-riches tale of his maternal grandfather in the 1920s; to a difficult childhood in Pittsburgh where, plagued by health issues, he nonetheless gave rise to his early talent as a pianist and, later, organist.


This early musical upbringing paved the way to a series of chance encounters that took him to France, where he remained for most of his life.

The music of Scott Ross is a central point of Stonebreaker.


We will follow his brief, yet prodigious career, from his 1st-prize victory at the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition in 1971, through his monumental achievements as a recording artist from 1973 until his death in 1989, a period during which he released most of the standard repertoire for that time for harpsichord.


We will hear from Scott’s friends, colleagues, teachers, and students, who all were impacted by their unique crossing of paths with him.

Scott Ross was man of conviction and courage who fought his entire life against a series of random calamities, from the deaths of his parents by age 19, to his own tragic death from AIDS; an individual, fragile and alone in a constant struggle to prove his artistic and musical worth, while maintaining a façade of defiant confidence.


Stonebreaker will present his unlikely life journey, and take us from Pittsburgh to Nice, from Québec to Paris and the south of France, where he spent his last years rebuilding a dilapidated farmhouse.

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