Sunday, May 25, 2014

World Premiere of Russo's Bass Duo -- on May 30th


On Friday, May 30th bassist Deb Spohnheimer and bassist Matt Weber performed the world premiere of Russo's Bass Duo for two double basses.  The work was included on a recital in the Great Hall of Marshalls Chess Club at 23 West 10th Street (5/6 Avenues).  .....to listen to a computer generated sound file of the piece click here.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Performance of Concert Fanfare for 8 trumpets Given on May 11


Russo's Concert Fanfare for Eight Trumpets was included on a concert by the Montclair State University Trumpet Ensemble Cali Brass ensemble (Charles Bumcrot, director) at 4pm on May 11th at Saint Luke's Church in Montclair, New Jersey.   The performers were Mike Bassett, Clayton Beyert, Joseph Christianson, Luke Finaldi, Daniel Mango, Daniel Minogue, Evan Weatherby and Mike Willensky.   If you would like to listen to the computer generated sound file of this piece you may do so by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Christmas Music Recorded! "Christmas Joy"

During the summer of 2013 Russo composed "Christmas Joy" -- a two movement work for flute and piano.  The first movement is called "Birth" and the second "Joy".  He composed the music for his good friends Celinda Anne Levno (flute) and Elizabeth Waln (piano)....the recorded CD is named "Christmas Joy" and includes other Christmas music.  The recording engineer for the CD is John Levno.  If you would like to listen to the two recorded movements of Russo's "Christmas Joy" you may do so by clicking here.   If you would like to acquire the sheet music to Russo's "Christmas Joy" you may do so by contacting him directly (e-mail address is at the top of this blog). If you would like to acquire the complete CD of Christmas music you may do so by calling John and Celinda Levno at 480 855 0905.   The playing is superb and the music is beautiful on this very special Christmas time CD. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mourning Mist reviewed by "This Is Classical Guitar"

The March 20, 2013 world premiere performance of Russo's quintet "Mourning Mist" for guitar and string quartet has been reviewed by This Is Classical Guitar - Exploring Guitar Through Multimedia.  You may read the article by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Successful Canadian Premiere of Russo's "Mourning Mist"

On Monday evening, July 29th Russo's quintet "Mourning Mist" for guitar and string quartet was given it first Canadian performance at the Midsummer Music Dream Music Festival south of Quebec.  The performance was very successful and enjoyed by both the musicians (including, guitarist Harris Becker, violist Dale Stuckenbruck and cellist Maureen Hynes) and the appreciative audience.  Russo attended the music festival and Monday night's performance.
Below are some photos taken at the festival:


                       Russo speaking with friend and fellow composer Michael Frassetti and his wife Irene


Russo speaking with friend and fellow composer Michael Frassetti
 

 

Russo at the Canadian premiere of "Mourning Mist" (blue shirt on right)
 
The "Mourning Mist" quintet at festival performance
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Canadian Premiere of "Mourning Mist" to be performed on 7/29

Russo's quintet "Mourning Mist" for guitar and string quartet will be given its Canadian premiere at 8pm on July 29, 2013 at the "A Midsummer Music Dream / Songe d’été en musique" festival south of Quebec, Canada.  Guitarist Harris Becker will perform this work with the festival's resident string quartet.  To learn more about the festival you may click here.    Russo plans to attend this Canadian premiere performance of this music.

To read about the participating performers of this Canadian music festival you may click here.
(...scroll down to see Russo's bio)

From the festival's website:
A special highlight of this year's festival will be the Canadian premiere of "Mourning Mist for Guitar and String Quartet" by Joseph Russo on July 29.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

US Premiere of Trombone Quartet "Seasides"

On Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:45pm in the Recital Hall of the Neighborhood Music School (NMS) in New Haven, Connecticut Russo's trombone quartet "Seasides" will be given its US premiere.  The address of NMS is 100 Audubon St, New Haven, CT 06510.   The program will also include works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Scheidt, Hornoff, R. Strauss, Puccini, and Ewald.  The performers will be the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Trombone Section, that being Terrence Fay, Mark Weaver, Victor Johnson and Wesley Mayhew.  The title of the recital will be "Emotion of the Waves",   This recital is free and open to the public.

If you would like to listen to the computer generated sound file of this three movement work you may do so by clicking here.


Monday, April 29, 2013

New Bass Quartet

Russo recently completed work on a one movement double bass quartet -- which can also be performed by a large bass ensemble.  He created this piece for friend Susan Powell and her Hartt Community Division Student Bass Ensemble.  Her bass ensemble will give the world premiere performance of Bass Quartet on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at Hartt College, Connecticut.   If you would like to listen to a computer generated rendition of this music click here. 

Basses At Play!

Saturday, May 25, 5:00 pm, Berkman Recital Hall

If you would like to hear some basses in action, come to our great Bass Ensemble concert on Saturday, May 25 at 5:00 pm in Berkman Recital Hall. We will perform an eclectic mix of composers including the Turtles and Mahler. Plus we’re premiering a brand new work written for us by Connecticut composer, Joseph Russo! We will have some exciting, special guests joining us as well. Admission is free.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Septet "Distant Light" to be performed on Sunday, April 14, 2013

Russo's Septet "Distant Light" for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet will be performed at Connetquot Library on Sunday, April 14th at 2pm.  The concert location address is: 760 Ocean Avenue, Bohemia, NY. Phone number: 631 567-5079.   The concert is free and open to the public.
If you would like to listen to a recording of this piece click here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Successful World Premiere Performance of Second Symphony

Orchestra New England gave a very successful world premiere performance of Russo's Second Symphony. The performance was given at Battell Chapel in New Haven on Saturday, March 23, 2013 with James Sinclair conducting..   Russo performed in the bass section for this performance.

Here are some photos of the evening:




Both photos show Joseph Russo with conductor and long time friend James Sinclair after the first performance of Russo's Second Symphony.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Successful World Premiere Performance of "Mourning Mist"

On Wednesday evening, March 20, 2013 members of the Guitar Festival at Long Island University (Harris Becker, director) gave a successful performance of Russo's quintet "Mourning Mist" for guitar and string quartet.  To view the video of the performance click here.  To listen to the sound file of the performance click here.
The work is scheduled to be performed again at the Guitar Festival near Quebec, Canada this coming summer.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Work for Two Cellos

Russo just completed work on "Dynamic Duo" for Two Cellos -- this one movement work has optional actions by both cellists -- the piece can be performed with or without the optional actions.   This music was composed for Russo's good friends Carolyn Schwartz Engle and Thomas Hudson.
If you would like to hear a computer generated sound file (without actions) of this piece you may do so by clicking here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Mourning Mist" World Premiere Scheduled for March 2013

Russo's quintet "Mourning Mist" for guitar and string quartet will be given its world premiere performance at the Long Island Guitar Festival at Long Island University (in Brookville, Long Island, NY) in March 2013 -- at 8pm on Wednesday, March 20th.   You may find out more about this event by clicking here.    You may listen to a computer generated sound file of this one movement tonal work by clicking here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

2nd Symphony World Premiere Scheduled

On Saturday, March 23, 2013 Orchestra New England will give the world premiere performance of Russo's Second Symphony at Battell Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut.   This is a tonal work in four movements.   More information about this Orchestra New England concert can be seen by clicking here.
If you would like to listen to the computer generated sound files of the four movements of this symphony you may do so by clicking here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Music for Flute and Piano

Russo recently completed work on his new music for flute and piano: West Fork.  It is a one movement tonal work inspired by his hike at West Fork (near Sedona, Arizona) with his friend John Levno.  Russo composed the work for John and his wife (and superb flutist) Celinda Anne.  If you would like to hear a computer generated rendition of the piece you may do so by clicking here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New music for French Horn & Piano

Russo has recently completed composing "Mountain" for French Horn and Piano -- he created this tonal one movement work for his friend and excellent French Horn player Lisa Pike.  If you would like to hear a computer generated sound file of this music please click here.

Lisa will be giving the world premiere of this music on September 27, 2012.  Here is the information about her recital:


Thursday September 27, 2012  12:30pm  Shea Auditorium.
  William Paterson University  Wayne, NJ

The location is called Shea Center for Performing Arts.
 300 Pompton Road
 Wayne, NJ

"Living La Vida Local" (Alive and Living Locally)

Other works on the program: by Amram, Schickele, Ewazen.

Lisa Pike. horn
Karen Dempsy, flute
Elizabeth Rodgers, piano                           

Monday, January 23, 2012

Renown conductor Arto Tchiftchian comments on Russo's music

Renown conductor Arto Tchiftchian comments on Russo's music:
I heard your disc with orchestral works and I am very impressed.
Your music is very beautiful and has his own atmosphere with elegiac character and nostalgic, regret feeling for the lost harmony.A remembrance of persons and places of passed times.In slow, meditative portions and lyric moments of your music you are in the tradition of great American poetry of E.Dickinson and H.Longfellow and in the same time you show a very great talent for melody line in the fast tempi.
I want to have chance to conduct your music one day.
With all my best wishes
Arto Tchiftchian
Renown Bulgarian Conductor -- now residing in Los Angeles, USA

Monday, December 5, 2011

Flutist Jane Rutter comments on Russo's music

After listening to Russo's solo flute piece "Golden Flute" flutist Jane Rutter says:
Joseph Russo's music is lyrical. Its harmonies have a lovely flowing narrative.
I applaud him for writing music that has depth, imagination and is so pleasing to the sophisticated ear!
Jane Rutter
Flute Queen, Concert Soloist,
#1 Adventurous Classical Artist
www.janerutter.com

(you may view the video of "Golden Flute" by clicking here)

Friday, October 21, 2011

"In Memoriam" Performed at Northeastern Illinois University

On Thursday, October 20 the Northeastern Illinois University String Orchestra gave a very successful and well received performance of Russo's "In Memoriam" 9-11 for Strings -- Brian Groner, conductor.

Here is the program:
Thursday, October 20, 2011 • 3:05 P.M. • Recital Hall
NEIU STRING ORCHESTRA
Brian Groner, conductor

Serenade, for strings in E minor, Op. 20........................ Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
    
Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 68 BB 76............................ Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
    
In Memoriam–9/11............................................................................. Joseph M. Russo

String Sonata No. 1 in G major.............................. Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868)
    
Divertimento in F major................................................... W. A. Mozart (1756–1791)
“Salzburg Symphony No. 3”, K. 138
    

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Second Symphony Completed

Russo has composed his 2nd Symphony.  This tonal four (4) movement work is score for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 timpani (also playing triangle) and strings.  The four movements run approximately 34 minutes total.   If you would like to hear the computer generated sound files of the four movements you may click here.    The work may be scheduled for its world premiere sometime in the spring of 2012 or during the 2012-2013 season -- the orchestra to premiere the work has yet to be chosen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Seasides" Trombone Quartet Premiered in the UK

On Saturday, October 1, 2011 Russo's three movement trombone quartet "Seasides" was given its world premiere in Beverley UK (in Yorkshire) by trombonist Jim Stretton's newly formed trombone quartet called "A Bit On The Slide".  To read the review of that performance you may click here.   Sometime soon a live recording of this trombone quartet will be posted here as well -- check back soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New work for Trombone Ensemble

Russo completed work on the three movements (Seaside 1, Seaside 2 and Seaside 3) of Seasides for Trombone Quartet.  This music is scored for three (3) tenor trombones and one (1) bass trombone with an optional alto trombone part which would replace the Tenor 1 part.   You may hear computer generated performances of these movements by clicking here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Bass Duo

Russo has just completed work on his Bass Duo.  This is a one movement (in 3 sections) tonal work for two double basses running about 8 1/2 minutes.  The work was composed at the request of Matt Weber (Juilliard) and Matt Rosenthal (NYU), two former bass students of Joe's.   You may hear a computer generated version of the piece by clicking here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

World Premiere of Fanfare given at Montclair State University, NJ

On Friday, October 8, 2010 Russo's Fanfare for Eight Trumpets was given its world premiere performance by The John J. Cali School of Music Trumpet Ensemble, Charles Bumcrot, director, from Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ to open the 2010 Kaleidoscope Concert (an annual showcase of students and faculty of the Cali School). This first performance was at the Kasser Theatre (on the campus) on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:30pm. It was conducted by Donald Batchelder.

Trumpet ensemble director Charles Bumcrot's comment on Fanfare:
"...a wonderful work and a very interesting fanfare. Not only everything you'd expect and need in a fanfare, but interesting melodic lines and material, combined with very successful antiphonal qualities. We will perform this work over and over again!!"
"This music can be used antiphonally...and it works non-antiphonally. This is very playable on standard instruments, either Bb or C and does not require piccs, flugels, etc. A very majestic opening with a very lyrical, yet "ringing" Allegro."

The performers for this world premiere were: Mike Bassett, Rachel Candee, Lynn Chao, Elizabeth Epstein, Rene Hammler, Harry Hipwell, Chris Johnson, Bryan Stepneski, Bowen Walsh, Sage Walsh.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Concert Fanfare for Trumpet Ensemble

Russo just completed work on his new Concert Fanfare for Eight Trumpets. This antiphonal tonal one movement 5:50 minute work was composed for Joe's friend Chuck Bumcrot and his NJ college trumpet students. To hear a computer rendition of this music click here.
You may also hear the computer rendition of Russo's Fanfare for Eight Trumpets -- this is a shortened version (3:15 minutes) of his Concert Fanfare....click here to hear this Fanfare.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Three Changes for Septet Completed

Russo recently completed his Three Changes for Septet - these are three (3) movements in a tonal and somewhat jazzy style. The instrumentation is: clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin and bass -- the same instrumentation as Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale". To hear the computer generated sound files of these three movements click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Performing at the White House -- Meeting the President






On Monday, July 26 Russo and his long time Juilliard friend, Nathaniel Ayers ("The Soloist") performed together for the White House celebration of the anniversary of ADA (Amercians with Disabilities Act). Joe accompanied Nathaniel who played violin and trumpet. Both were given the opportunity to shake President Obama's hand! Nathaniel's comment to the President: "I wish you a blessed Presidency". An important event and a very successful performance.
To read author "The Soloist" and journalist Steve Lopez's LA Times article about the event you may click on the appropriate link under "Pages" in the left column of this page. If you would like to view an actual portion of the performance of Ayers and Russo click here.

Update: if you would like to view the complete performance click here: Nathaniel Ayers and Joseph Russo play at White House


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Septet "Changes 2" completed

Russo recently completed composing the second movement to his Septet "Changes" trilogy. You may hear a computer generated rendition of this new movement by clicking here. "Changes 2" can be heard by choosing the second track.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Concordance" Performed in Lubeck, Germany



On Friday, June 25, 2010 Russo's Concordance for Double Brass Quintet was performed by the Brass Ensemble of the University of Lubeck Music School in Lubeck, Germany. Professor Ehrhard Wetz conducted. (You may click on the program above to enlarge it)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bassoon Quartet Now Available

Russo's Bassoon Quartet "In The Woods" is now available.  This three movement tonal work is written for four bassoons.  You may hear a computer generated rendition of the three movement tonal work by clicking here.   If you have trouble accessing the sound files please e-mail: JoeRusso11@gmail.com -- the sound files could be sent to you as attachments to an e-mail, if you wish.  If you would like to acquire this music you may contact the composer at the same e-mail address.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recent News About Bass Students

Four of Joe’s students have had some great news recently. Here is Joe’s comment:

“Recently four of my double bass students have been accepted into very prestigious music schools: New Haven senior Andrew Muench will be attending the Hart School of Music in Hartford in September. Ridgefield senior Jonathan Borden will attend The Juilliard School next school year. Weston Purchase College senior Matthew Weber has been accepted in the Masters program at Juilliard. And Westport NYU senior Matthew Rosenthal will continue studying at New York University next fall. These young men have achieved such success due to their talent, skill, perseverance, enthusiasm and dedication to music. I am very, very proud of these special students. CONGRATULATIONS! : ) " --- Joe Russo, Bass Teacher

Thursday, April 15, 2010

World Premiere of New Septet on April 10, 2010




Orchestra New England gave the world premiere of Russo's "Changes" for Septet which he completed recently. The performance took place on April 10 at the United Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut. You may hear the computer generated rendition of this new work by clicking where indicated on the blog post below. The sound file of the first live performance of this music will be posted sometime soon.
Note: Joe played the bass part for this performance.

Above are some photos taken in New Haven by Louise Crowley before the world premiere of Russo's "Changes". The top photo is Joe and good friend and Orchestra New England Principal Cellist Tom Bailen. The middle photo is that of Joe (left), Marie Russo (his mother) and his brother and founder and director of rock band camp "Bach to Rock" Michael Russo. And the lower photo is that of Joe and his good friend and science professor at Quinnipiac University Marshall Sternberg.


Friday, March 19, 2010

New Septet Completed Today!

Russo has completed the first movement ("Changes 1") of his new Septet "Changes" -- scored for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Double Bass and Percussion this tonal work incorporates classical sounds with jazz music. It was composed using the same instrumentation as Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale. To hear a computer generated sound file of this work click here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Edition of First Symphony

Joe has recently edited some of his First Symphony (2004). You may hear the four movement tonal work by clicking here. The 27 minute work is scored for one flute, one oboe, one clarinet, one bassoon, one French horn, one trumpet, one trombone, one tuba, two percussion and strings.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Work for Four (4) Bassoons

Russo recently completed a three movement work for 4 bassoons. The name of the short work is "In The Woods". Each movement is a "scene" - Scene 1 is Adagio-Allegro; Scene 2 is Andante - Pastorale; and Scene 3 is Allegro. To listen to a computer generated rendition of the piece click here.

The world premiere of this work is scheduled at the Keeler Tavern in Ridgefield, Connecticut in March: Chamber Music Concert, Bassoonery, Sunday, March 21, 3 p.m., $15, Keeler Tavern Museum, 203-428-5485.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Three Performances of Russo's Septet "Distant Light" Scheduled this Fall

Three performances of Russo's Septet "Distant Light" were performed this fall by the ensemble Canta Libre. The Septet is scored for Flute, Clarinet, Harp and String Quartet. Here was the schedule:
1. Sunday, September 27th 1:30 p.m. Sachem Library 150 Holbrook Rd. Holbrook, N.Y. (631) 588-5024 Free Admission
2. Saturday Oct. 17th, 6:00 p.m. Salmagundi Center for Amercian Art 47 Fifth Ave. New York, N.Y. (212) 255-7740 Tickets $20
3. Sunday Oct. 18th 2:30 p.m. South Huntington Library 145 Pidgeon Hill Rd. South Huntington, N.Y. (631) 549-4411 Free Admission
To hear excerpts of the Septet's three movements you may click here.

UPDATE:  as of November 2011 a number of harpists have purchased the music to Distant Light in Mexico City (Mexico), Los Angeles (USA), Maryland (USA), Long Island, New York (USA), New Canaan, Connecticut (USA), Angers (France), Netherlands.





Monday, July 27, 2009

Brass Quintet "Hannoverture" performed in New York

On Saturday, July 25 Joe's brass quintet "Hannoverture" was performed by the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble (John Charles Thomas, lead trumpet) on the "Midsummer Night Music" summer series at Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Katonah, New York. This was the New York premiere of the work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Brass Quintet "Hannoverture" Performed in Germany

Joe's new Brass Quintet "Hannoverture" was recently given its European premiere performance in Bremen, Germany. To view the video of its outdoor pre-premiere performance click here. To listen to the German audio performance of "Hannoverture" click here.

Hannoverture was again performed in Wustrow, Germany on October 4, 2009 by a brass choir. You may view and hear the video of this performance by clicking here.

Here is the description of the earlier (Bremen) video by quintet leader and trombone player Alexander Kockel:
Hannoverture - new brass quintet work by Joseph M. Russo (US).
This is a trial and error performance between rehearsal (2 weeks before) and official premiere in europe (the evening after) at the Kirchentag in Bremen/GER.
We, the brass quintet "Ottoni con anima", were not prepared to play outdoor, so we unfortunately lost the challenge against the wind, who blew the sheets away. But see, it was fun and the performance in the evening (in church) was about to tell another story... :-)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Russo Brass Quintet performed in Ridgefield, Sunday April 26


The Ridgefield Symphony Brass Quintet and Joe: from left to right - Sara Della Posta - French Horn, Tom Verchot - trumpet, Daniel Peck - tuba, Joe Russo, John Charles Thomas - trumpet, Johannes Pfannkuch - trombone.

The new brass quintet "Hannoverture" was beautifully performed in Ridgefield, Connecticut at the Keeler Tavern Museum at 3pm on Sunday, April 26, 2009 by The Ridgefield Symphony Brass Quintet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

String Orchestra work performed in March at Battell Chapel, New Haven

Joe's Four Pieces for Strings "Homage to Bach" 2008 was given its world premiere performance by Orchestra New England on March 21 (Bach's birthday) at 8pm at Yale's Battell Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut. Each piece depicts a different side of life: sadness, complexity, love, excitement. To hear an excerpt of each piece you may click here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Brass Quintet Completed..."Hannoverture"

Joe just finished composing his new brass quintet "Hannoverture". It is a one movement tonal, fanfare-like piece begun soon after he returned from Germany where he conducted his double brass quintet "Concordance" near Hannover, Germany. If you would like to hear a computer generated version of the work you may click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trip to Germany -- to conduct "Concordance"



On Saturday, November 2, 2008 Joe conducted a performance of his "Concordance" 1994 for double brass quintet. The brass group Auf biegen Und Blechen - see upper photo -- (http://www.aufbiegenundblechen.de/) performed the work in the church Christuskirche Westercelle in Celle near Hanover, Germany.
The performance was successful and the music was enjoyed by both the musicians and audience.

If you would like to hear an excerpt of the 1994 world premiere performance of the work you may do so by visiting Joe's AMC website by clicking here.

While in Europe, Joe (on left in above photo) visited his longtime friend and fellow Yalie Jean-Yves Benichou (on right in above photo) who has been playing bass with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra (in Strasbourg, France) for over 30 years.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Work completed - "Mourning Mist" for Guitar & String Quartet

Joe completed his latest work, "Mourning Mist" for Guitar and String Quartet during the summer of 2008. This nine minute work is tonal and melodic in character composed in memory of Joe's father George Russo who passed away in April 2008. There is no scheduled world premiere of the work yet. You may hear this music at Joe's American Music Center's website.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Solo Flute work -- Premiered April 25, 2008


Joe's new work "Golden Flute"for solo flute was given its world premiere performance by his dear friend and superb flutist Celinda Ann Levno in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday evening, April 25, 2008. Joe and Celinda Ann are in the above photo. To view the video of the performance click here.

On December 5, 2011 flutist Jane Rutter said the following about "Golden Flute":
Joseph Russo's music is lyrical. Its harmonies have a lovely flowing narrative.
I applaud him for writing music that has depth, imagination and is so pleasing to the sophisticated ear!
Jane Rutter
 Flute Queen, Concert Soloist,
 #1 Adventurous Classical Artist
www.janerutter.com



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trip to Los Angeles -- for Triple Flute Concerto and Juilliard friend




Joe (on left in above photo) travelled to Los Angeles to attend the west coast premiere performance of his Triple Flute Concerto by the La Mirada Symphony (south of LA) on Saturday, October 20, 2007.

While on the west coast Joe visited with Yale alum friend Alan Rickmeier (bassist in the San Diego Symphony), Juilliard alum friend Andre Briere who plays Principal Bass with the La Mirada Symphony and long lost Juilliard friend Nathaniel Ayers (on right in above photo). Joe also visited with author/journalist Steve Lopez.

Steve Lopez has written a wonderful book about Nathaniel Ayers, "The Soloist" and DreamWorks is producing a movie based on Lopez's book about Nathaniel's life. The book is now available and the movie will be in theaters by the end of April 2009.  To view a current (July 2009) LA Times article about Nathaniel click here. To view the video of Nathaniel's speech at San Franscisco's NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) conference in July 2009 click here. If you would like to hear Nathaniel play some trumpet and cello click here.

Above are some photos: The first photo is of the actors in the movie "The Soloist" - Jamie Fox and Robert Downey Jr with Joe, Nathaniel and Adam Crane (formerly with the LA Philharmonic administration). The second photo is that of Joe, Steve Lopez and Nathaniel. And the third is of Joe and Nathaniel -- meeting after over 30 years at the October 20, 2007 performance of Joe's Triple Flute Concerto in La Mirada, California.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

West Coast Premiere of Triple Flute Concerto


On Saturday night October 20, 2007 solo flutists Laura Scott, Brad Cain and Joan Cain (from left to right in above photo) and The La Mirada Symphony performed Joe's Triple Flute Concerto in La Mirada, California. Joe attended this excellent and well received performance of his work.
To hear excerpts of the world premiere performance of this work (back in 2001) you may click here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Work - Septet "Distant Light" given first performance

On April 29, 2007 the Fontenay Chamber Players gave the world premiere performance of Joe's Septet "Distant Light" for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet at the Christ Church Parish in Redding Ridge, Connecticut. The work was commissioned by the Fontenay Chamber Players. This tonal work is twenty five minutes long and in three movements. Excerpts of this work can be heard at Joe's personal website: www.JosephMRusso.com
You may also hear this music at his AMC website.

Please note that after the premiere of this work Joe rewrote the third movement (originally marked "Theme & Variations") shortening it from 16 minutes to 11 minutes (and renaming it "Variations"). The original third movement (the one you hear at the AMC website) is now a stand alone work called "Theme & Variations for Septet" running the original 16 minutes.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Russo String Bass Quartet performed at Mensch Memorial

On Monday evening, January 29, 2007 Joe's bass quartet arrangement of his a capella motet "Psalm 23" (The Lord is My Shepherd) was performed at the Homer Mensch Memorial Concert at The Juilliard School. Joe and Eric Harris were two of the four bassists performing the new work. This Homer Mensch Memorial Concert was organized by bassist Kurt Muroki and included many of Mr. Mensch's students both performing and in the audience. Juilliard President Joseph Polisi spoke about his personal friendship with both Connie and Homer Mensch.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Russo completes Kyrie and Gloria of his Mass

Joe recently completed the Kyrie and Gloria of his Mass (..an ongoing project). These choral movements are written for choir (SATB) and chamber orchestra -- 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 bassoon, 1 French Horn, 1 trumpet, timpani and strings. You may hear computer generated renditions of this music by clicking on either name above (Kyrie or Gloria) -- you will be directed to Joe's American Music Center's website. This music has yet to be performed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Why Music

The following occurred a few years ago. I was giving a high school sophomore a double bass lesson at his home. The boy's father came into the room and said to me: "My son John will most likely be going to law school or medical school. Since he will not be a professional musician do you think these bass lessons are really necessary? If he does not plan to ever play 'Carnegie Hall' why should he take lessons?"

I proceeded to tell my student's father the following true story: I have a good friend, Harry, who with me, graduated from Yale with a Masters of Music degree some years ago. Soon after graduating Harry decided that he wanted to be an attorney instead of a professional musician. Months later he applied to various law schools. Over lunch Harry described an incredible occurrence: he was interviewed by the dean of a major university law school. The dean looked down at Harry's resume and said "I see you graduated from Yale with a Masters of Music". Harry, a little concerned, said "Yes, but I now would like to become an attorney". "Well", the dean continued, "based on your Music Masters degree you are accepted to attend our law school". Harry was surprised and with a confused look asked "I don't understand. Based on a music degree you are accepting me into your law school? I don't understand". The dean smiled "Let me explain. What do you need to do to become a successful musician? First you need to spend much time alone in a practice room, solving problems. Then you need to go out on stage to rehearse with other musicians (as a team) to solve problems. Finally, you need to perform your music in front of an audience. Let me tell you what a successful attorney needs to do: first he spends much time alone in a library, researching and solving problems for his client. Then he often works with other attorneys (as a team) to help his client and to solve additional problems. Finally, he usually has to "perform" his case in front of a jury and a judge. Harry, as a successful musician you have developed all the skills needed to become a successful attorney -- we will need to re-tune those skills to law, that's all."

The father of my student stared at me with a surprised look on his face. "I never realized that by learning a musical instrument, my son could develop skills that could be applied to other careers." He turned to his son and said "Listen carefully to your bass teacher....do whatever he says.....” The father then left the room.

And here is one of the best moments in my teaching career: as his father left the room, my student turned to me and said "But, Mr. Russo isn't the privilege and ability to play Bach, Beethoven and Brahms enough of a reason to study music?" I smiled and nodded, thankful for the wisdom and enthusiasm of children.

Joseph Russo

JoeR11@Juno.com