Ross Crean jokingly says he “writes strange music that he likes to listen to when he is by himself, eating raw cookie dough in a dark closet,” but in truth, his music has been referred to as being “funny…and virtuosic” (Classic Concert Nova Scotia), having “exceptionally different, outstanding quality” (Download), and music that “stirs you deep, undertones of humanity” (Access Contemporary Music). Composing and creating music with a focus on the evocative and lyrical, he began his professional career as a Bass Baritone, specializing in avant-garde and Contemporary Classical music, many of which were his own compositions. While pursuing his Masters at Illinois State University in Composition, he has studied with Stephen Taylor, David Feurzeig, and Nancy Van de Vate.
As an undergraduate in Vocal Performance at Saint Xavier University, he has trained in several vocal styles, including rock, opera, sean-nós (traditional Gaelic singing), and Indian and Middle Eastern vocal ornamentation. Crean’s emotionally-violent monodramas Missa Dementia, The Mysteries of Uncle Archibald, and Xenophysius Obscura (The Stranger’s Nature in Darkness) brought the composer/ performer much critical acclaim throughout Europe. His comedic song cycle The Passive-Aggressive’s Guide to Mother Goose, completed in 2016, has already been performed in London, Philadelphia, Toronto, Halifax, Sacramento, Austin, and Chicago. His two most recent operas, The Great God Pan and Lost Daughters, have both been premiered in 2017.
A prolific collaborator, Crean has received commissions from and worked with numerous artists, including internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Heidi Skok (formerly with the Metropolitan Opera), The Mozart Ensemble at Oberlin College, Opera on Tap (Chicago and New York), and Loyola University Museum of Art. His musical work has also been featured on Skope TV, Much Music, Fuse TV, and Comcast OnDemand. A multi-genre artist, he founded his own record label, Knight & Thorne Music, and continues to perform worldwide as a solo artist. Ross is also signed as a composer on the PARMA Recordings/ Navona Records label, and released the recording of The Great God Pan in August 2017. He is currently Resident Composer and Creative Director for Nebula Creatives, a multimedia firm based in Chicago.