Alastair Ross keyboards

Alastair Ross was a chorister at Christ Church, and an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he gained a First in Music. He has worked as a freelance harpsichordist and organist for thirty five years. He is principal keyboard player of the Academy of Ancient Music and The Sixteen, with whom he played a Handel Organ Concerto in the 2009 BBC Proms. He also plays with Canzona, with whose director, Theresa Caudle, he teaches every year on courses of baroque chamber music at Benslow and Jackdaws.

In profile

"In my twenties, I wanted to be an organist. I was organ scholar at New College, Oxford; studied in America; and had church jobs at High Wycombe Parish Church and St Margaret’s, Westminster. I passionately love that repertoire, but gave it up when I realised that I’d rather drag my young children into the Chiltern Hills than into church on Sunday mornings.

As far as the harpsichord goes, I came to continuo playing from the wrong direction. François Couperin wrote “play solo pieces for two or three years before learning accompaniment” — and I’m afraid I ignored him completely! I’ve always enjoyed accompanying: fitting in with other musicians, trying to work out what directors want."