Ross W. Duffin

Artistic Director Ross W. Duffin was born in London, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario there. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University where he specialized in the performance practice of early music. He came to Case Western Reserve University in 1978 to direct the nationally recognized historical performance practice program, and was named a Distinguished University Professor there in 2017.

Ross has made a name for himself as a scholar in a wide range of repertoires, publishing articles on music from the 13th to the 18th centuries. His edition of DuFay chansons won the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society for work of benefit to both scholars and performers, and his Shakespeare’s Songbook (WW Norton, 2004), a study of all the songs from Shakespeare’s plays, won the inaugural Claude V. Palisca Award from the AMS. His book on songs in English Renaissance comedy is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2018.

Other “vocal” publications include an edition of Josquin motets (Oxford, 1998), an edition of motets from the Jacobean period (A-R Editions, 2006) which corresponds to Quire’s Madigalian Motets CD, and a reconstruction of Richard Davy’s St. Matthew Passion from the Eton Choirbook, featured on Quire’s 2017 live concert CD. 

Ross Duffin’s love of vocal ensemble singing has a familial background, since his grandfather, William Nelson, was a professional countertenor in London, England, and was soloist for Harold Darke and later Herbert Murrill, and his mother conducted her church choir, making him a third-generation choral conductor. He has sung with Apollo’s Fire since its inception in 1992. He also directs the Collegium Musicum at CWRU.