Petersburg and Taipei, premiered David Lang's Triple Concerto with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and premiered a new Marc Neikrug work at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Summerfest in La Jolla. Trained classically at The Juilliard School and the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Mendelssohn in Leipzig, Mr. Russo pursued further specialized training in Paris with Frederic Chiu. It was during those years that Russo began developing relationships with many important American and European composers, began working with electro-acoustic music, and explored an ongoing interest for the hybrid world of live musical performance and theater. It was on Charleston, South Carolina's International Piano Series in 1998 that Mr. Russo first performed his own version of Prokofieff's Romeo and Juliet Suite, interspersing dramatic readings from Shakespeare with the Russian master's famous ballet score.
He subsequently presented a similar version of Erik Satie's Sports et Divertissements in the United States, France, and Finland, and an intense period of involvement with the music of George Crumb began. In the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Russo created a special and historical moment by performing George Crumb's A Little Suite For Christmas, A.D. 1979, making him the first person ever to perform on the inside of the piano in this major quadrennial event. The attraction that this performance spurred led to the development of the 2002 George Crumb Celebration Festival at New York's Angel Orensanz Performing Arts Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Serving as artistic director and pianist for this event, Mr.
Russo worked closely with the composer to develop a retrospective structure closely mirroring the trajectory of Mr. Crumb's inimitable career. With the composer on hand and performances by many of today's leading young contemporary music artists – soprano Susan Narucki, composer/clarinetist Derek Bermel, flautist Tara Helen O'Conor, cellist Felix Fan, and percussionist David Cossin among them – the festival was a rousing success. In a rave review of the entire weekend, Shirley Fleming wrote of "Mr.
Russo's totally absorbing solo performances of Volumes I and II of Makrokosmos." (Musical America) A prolific recording artist, Mr. Russo’s series of American composer portraits for London's Black Box Records continued in 2006 with a release of John Corigliano's piano and chamber works – A Pick of the Month in BBC Magazine, “Russo is a pianist who knows no limits” (The London Times). Discs dedicated to Steve Reich released in October 2006 and Aaron Jay Kernis in March 2007. The Albany label released Mr. Russo's recording of Wright Flight, a piano concerto commissioned for Russo from composer Michael Schelle by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for Dayton’s Wright Brothers Centennial Celebration. French label Sub Rosa Records released Mr.
Russo’s recording of Canopèe, a concerto for 2 claviers with string orchestra commissioned from Francois-Bernard Mache by Art Zoyd and Ensemble Musique Nouvelles. As a recitalist, Mr. Russo’s programs frequently feature premieres. In the last two years alone, Russo has given the US premieres of works by Holland's Jacob ter Veldhuis and Gerard Beljon, the French premiere of George Crumb’s Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik, and world premieres of works of American composers Derek Bermel and Marc Mellits and British composer James Aitchison written for Russo. In December 2004, Mr.
Russo presented the New York premiere of Philippe Manoury's monumental Pluton for piano and live electronics with the composer’s collaboration. In addition to his activities as a performer and event organizer, Mr. Russo dedicates time to the direction and development of Music Journeys INC, a non-profit foundation which he founded in 2001. Now administrated through Le Moyne College where Russo is artist-in-residence, the program brings American music to people of all backgrounds through special musical presentations and clinics for elementary schools in the underprivileged areas of Syracuse, NY as well as an eclectic and interactive concert series at Le Moyne College's W. Carroll Coyne Performing Arts Center. It is because of the breadth and diversity of his activities that Gramophone magazine recently proclaimed: "Andrew Russo is by no means just 'another pianist.'” Read more on Last.fm.
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