Alex Ross (born 1968) is an American music critic. He has been on the staff of The New Yorker magazine since 1996 and published a critically acclaimed book on 20th-century classical music in 2007, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.
Ross is a 1986 graduate of St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and a 1990 graduate of Harvard University, where he studied under composer Peter Lieberson and was a DJ on the classical and underground rock departments of the college radio station, WHRB. He earned a Harvard A.B. in English summa cum laude for a thesis on James Joyce.
From 1992 to 1996 Ross was a music critic at the New York Times. He also wrote for The New Republic, Slate, the London Review of Books, Lingua Franca, Fanfare and Feed. He first contributed to The New Yorker in 1993 and became a staff writer in 1996.
His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, a cultural history of music since 1900, was released in the U.S. in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and in the U.K. in 2008. The book received widespread critical praise in the U.S., garnering a National Book Critics Circle Award, a spot on the New York Times list of the ten best books of 2007, and a finalist citation for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. The book was also shortlisted for the 2008 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
His second book, titled Listen to This, is scheduled for publication in late September, 2010.
He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for music criticism and a Holtzbrinck fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin.
Alex Ross married director Jonathan Lisecki in Canada in 2005.