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John Morris Russell


Pops Conductor

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John Morris Russell, conductor, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

A remarkable artist with boundless enthusiasm for music-making of all kinds, John Morris Russell is a modern conductor who engages and enthralls audiences with the full breadth of the orchestral experience. Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops since 2011, Mr. Russell’s diverse programming and electric stage presence have infused new creativity and energy into one of the world’s most iconic pops orchestras.

Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, this Ohio native is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina where Mr. Russell’s commitment has yielded a new level of artistic excellence. He was also recently named Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning in the 2015-16 season. A popular guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada, he also holds the title of Conductor Laureate with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, where he served as Music Director for eleven years.

With the Cincinnati Pops, Mr. Russell regularly leads sold-out performances at Cincinnati’s Music Hall. Additionally, he conducts the Pops at the Riverbend Music Center and in concerts throughout the Greater Cincinnati region and on tour. Mr. Russell has collaborated with generations of great performers including the late Ray Charles and Rosemary Clooney, as well as Idina Menzel, Vince Gill, Branford Marsalis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Megan Hilty, Michael McDonald, George Takei, Amy Grant, Brian Wilson, Katharine McPhee and Marvin Winans.

A sought-after guest conductor across the continent, Mr. Russell returned to the Hollywood Bowl in July 2014 to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a trio of concerts. Other recent engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles.

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Cincinnati Pops presents American Soundscapes


The Cincinnati Pops is proud to present AMERICAN SOUNDSCAPES, a new video series featuring performances captured live by our friends and partners at CET Public Television. This fifth video explores the incredible music of John Williams with the Lost in Space theme, conducted by John Morris Russell.

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