Press Releases

Grad Student Ross Winter Has "Sherlock Holmes" Connection

Date Released: 12/22/2009

Violinist Ross Winter taught Robert Downey, Jr. to play the violin in the latest "Sherlock Holmes" film

 Violinist Ross Winter, a graduate student in the Conservatory of Music,

has a connection to the Sherlock Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr.


He was contacted via e mail by a casting agent who came across his web site and asked if he would be interested in “tutoring a big actor” for an upcoming film.  He would need to start the next day and it might be for a few days. He might also have to be on the set in Brooklyn. Since he was on a break from school he wrote back to say yes.


After a few e mail exchanges, Ross said, “We talked on the phone that night.  After I was asked a number of questions, I got the full deal.  I was going to be teaching Robert Downey, Jr. to play the violin for his role in Sherlock Holmes. I was pretty shocked, but incredibly excited. ”


“The next day, after some phone exchanges with an Assistant Director, I went to Robert’s hotel room for his first lesson.  During the first hour, we chatted, went over some basic technique, discussed the script and I met Jude Law who had come to rehearse with Downey for the next day’s scenes.”


“The following day,” he continued “I was asked to come top the set at 7 AM for the first day’s shoot in New York City. It was a pretty amazing experience, seeing all the work and craziness that goes on behind the scenes.  It almost felt as if I was being treated as royalty; I was given a chair around the monitors next to Robert, Jude, Rachel McAdams, the director Guy Ritchie, and many producers.”


“What was supposed to be a few days ended up lasting almost a month and I had to be away from school the first few weeks of the semester.”


“Robert is an amazing guy,” said Mr. Winter “he is incredibly intelligent, completely hilarious, and a larger than life presence.  I was there to be his personal-violin-assistant and had some hysterical chats with him.  He even told me that he liked me being there and I was brought to the set everyday just in case he might want to play or if it was going to be involved in a scene.”


“Through all of this,” says Winter “I was asked to be in front of the camera ands was given a Principal Contract as ‘Violinist” and am now SAG-eligible.”


Thinking this was to be his only silver screen experience, for a while at least, Winter was amazed when he was contacted about being in the new Sex and the City movie due for release Labor Day weekend 2010.  “I was on set for two weeks with a cast and  am a ‘Featured Performer.”  “Three of those days were spent filming a scene with Liza Minnelli that is going to be spectacular,” he says.


Ross has had a versatile career as an orchestral player, soloist and chamber musician.  He is a member of the Richmond Symphony and a substitute with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.  Previously he has been a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic having performed as Principal and Assistant Second Violin.