Erudite author and music critic Alex Ross explores the historical connection shared by an evolving string of musicians — from 16th-century Spaniards to J.S. Bach to Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones — in a Lawrence University convocation.

Alex Ross

Ross presents “The Lamento Connection: Bass Lines of Music History,” Thursday, Nov. 3 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. He also will conduct a question-and-answer session from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

A Harvard University graduate, Ross began his career in the early 1990s writing music critiques for The New York Times. Since 1996, he has covered everything from the New York Metropolitan Opera to Radiohead as music critic of The New Yorker.

His first book, 2007’s “The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century,” chronicled the historical, biographical and social context of music from 1900-2000.  Among the observations he detailed are the porous borders shared by popular and modern classical music. “The Rest is Noise” earned a National Book Critics Circle award and was named finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

In 2010 he released a second book, “Listen to This,” a collection of revised essays from his New Yorker magazine columns. Ross was recognized with a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius” Fellowship in 2008.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.