John Russo studied with Ignatius N. Gennusa at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He was selected at age 19 to perform the Clarinet Concerto by Mozart with the Baltimore Symphony while attending the Peabody. His studies continued at the Curtis Institute of Music (B. M. degree) and Temple University, (M. M. degree), where he studied with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. During his studies at Curtis he placed in the finals for the NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONCERTS, appearing before Leonard Bernstein, performing the Premiere Rhapsodie by Debussy and the Clarinet Sonata by Bernstein. Further studies were at the Rome Festival Institute (Italy) with principal clarinetist, of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Michele Incenzo. As a winner of the Rome Festival Orchestra Concerto Competition, he appeared as soloist performing the Theme and Variations by Rossini- a work which he revised and edited in the clarinet and piano reduction published by Henri Elkan Music publisher. He was offered a scholarship for further study at the Juilliard School of Music which was regretably interrupted by his recording committments.
Mr. Russo taught at Temple University, Combs College of Music and the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. During this period, he gave numerous chamber music performances, master classes, solo appearances and began an extensive discography, as recording artist and Artistic Director of the CRS Artists record label.
He was a Yamaha Artist and later continued as a Buffet Artist, where his list of appearances included Master Classes at: Hochschule Fur Musik Und Theater, Felix Mendelssohn, Leipzig/Germany, Lviv Conservatory of Music, Ukraine, Curtis Institute, Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Temple University, Dartmouth College, Haverford College, San Diego State University, Indiana University, Peabody Institute, in addition to other institutions. He received (the Award of Excellence – La Escuela Nacional de Musica extiende el presente RECONOCIMIENTO) from the Unam University of Mexico City- while presenting a Master Class in Mexico City.
He also presented concerts/master classes at the School of Music at Katovicze Poland in addition to solo appearances with The Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra (Philippines), Unam Philharmonic Orchestra (Mexico), Rome Festival Orchestra, (Italy), Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Billings Symphony Orchestra, University Symphony Colorado, National Festival Orchestra, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra in addition to other prestigious orchestras.
Mr. Russo has concurrently held professional associations with the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers BMI, American Music Center, Alumni Association of Peabody Institute, Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, Temple University Alumni Association, National Association for American Composers and Conductors, Curtis Institute Alumni Board of Directors, American Association of University Professors, CRS National Festival For the Performing Arts, and the president of the Contemporary Record Society. He was one of a select number of clarinetists to collaborate in the design the new GRAND CONCERT SELECT reeds by Rico International.
Mr. Russo has published an extensive discography of classical music with more than (200) musical compositions, many of which are world premiere recordings (listed in part on this Web site). Among the world premier recordings contributed to the discography are Clarinet Sonatas’ by Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Baptist Wanhall, Hindemith, Reger, Devienne, Bernstein, Heiden, Milhaud and numerous other American composers. He has recorded, Three Romances, Op. 94, Robert Schumann, (music from), Six German Songs, Op. 103, Ludwig Spohr, Pastoral, Elliott Carter, The Clarinet Qunitets of , Hindemith and Jacob. He has recorded/performed the solos works with orchestra, the Clarinet Concerti of Copland, Hindemith, Mozart, Donezitti, Rossini, Mercadante, Debussy, Dello Joio and many others. (A more detailed list can be found at www.muze.com)
He has received numerous awards and scholarships: Artistic Distinction from the Elwyn Institutes, Commissions for his Clarinet Concerto, Sonata for Cello, Winchester Overture, Songs for Tenor and many recording grants by various foundations and corporations. Russo is a published composer with more than ninety published compositions to his credit.
Sample Performance Programs
John Russo, Clarinetist and Lydia Walton Ignacio, Pianist
Premiere Rhapsodie for Clarinet, Claude Debussy; Concertino for Clarinet, C. M. V.Weber; Three Romanzen, Robert Schumann
Sonata for Clarinet & Piano, J. Baptist Wanhal (1739-1813) ;Three Songs (from songs without words) Felix Mendelssohn; Clarinet Sonata Leonard Bernstein
Sonata No. 1, J. Brahms; Sonata for Clarinet & Piano, Paul Hindemith; Variations for Clarinet, G. Rossini
Concertino for Clarinet, G. Donizetti; Fantasiestucke, Op. 73, Robert Schumann; Sonata No. 2 for Clarinet & Piano, Max Reger
Clarinet Concerto, W. A. Mozart; *Concertino for Clarinet, G. Donizetti; *Variations for Clarinet, G. Rossini; *Premiere Rhapsodie for Clainette, Claude Debussy; *Concertino for Clarinet, C. M. v. Weber; Concertante for Clarinet, *Norman Dello Joio; *Clarinet Concerto, Paul Hindemith; *Ballade for Clarinet, Harp & Strings, Eric Ewazen; *Clarinet Concerto, Aaron Copland
*Commercial Recordings by John Russo
What The Critics Say
“A keen display of musicianship” – THE CLARINET MAGAZINE
“…Internationally Acclaimed” “…Renowned” “…World Class” – WISCONSIN SPECTATOR
“A brilliant American clarinetist… breathed fluency into the elegant Mozart Concerto…” – MANILA TIMES (Far East)