John Morris Russell, Conductor, Cincinnati POPS Orchestra

“A Decade With JMR and the POPS”

A master of American musical style, John Morris Russell has devoted himself to redefining the American orchestral experience. Celebrating his tenth anniversary as conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the wide-range and diversity of his work as a conductor, collaborator and educator continues to reinvigorate the musical scene throughout Cincinnati and across the continent. As Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, Mr. Russell leads the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition, he also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, following in the footsteps of Marvin Hamlisch and Doc Severinsen. As a guest conductor, he has worked with many of the most distinguished orchestras in North America, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, National Symphony and the orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Dallas, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
With the Cincinnati Pops, Mr. Russell leads sold-out performances at Music Hall, concerts throughout the region, as well as domestic and international tours–including Florida in 2014 and China/Taiwan in 2017. He returned to China in January of 2019 to conduct concerts with the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. His visionary leadership at The Pops created the “American Originals Project” which has garnered both critical and popular acclaim in two landmark recordings: American Originals (the music of Stephen Foster) as well as American Originals 1918, which won a Grammy Nomination in 2019. In 2020 the American Originals Project continued with King Records and the Cincinnati Sound with Late Night with David Letterman musical director, Paul Shaffer, celebrating the beginnings of Bluegrass, Country, Rockabilly, Soul and Funk immortalized in recordings produced in the Queen City. Mr. Russell’s other recordings with The Pops include Home for the Holidays, Superheroes, Carnival of the Animals, and Voyage. Mr. Russell’s recent collaborations with artists around the world include Aretha Franklin, Emanuel Ax, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Common, Garrick Ohlsson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jon Kimura Parker, Ann Hampton Callaway, Michael McDonald, Cho-Liang Lin, Sutton Foster, George Takei, Megan Hilty, Ranky-Tanky, Steve Martin, Katharine McPhee, Brian Wilson, Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom, Jr.

We will also receive an update on the overall impact the arts sector is facing/seeing from Artwaves President & CEO, Alecia Kintner. Alecia Townsend Kintner was recruited to join ArtsWave in Cincinnati in 2013 and in September 2014 became Chief Executive Officer, a role she feels she’s been preparing for her whole life. Prior to relocating to Cincinnati from the Northeast, she served as Deputy Director of the Greater Hartford Arts Council for a decade, doubling the size of the annual community arts campaign and helping to consolidate the functions of the city’s downtown business council and beautification programs into the Arts Council in order to maximize civic resources and leverage community assets. Alecia’s other professional experiences include as Vice President for Advancement at the Connecticut Science Center; Development Director at New York’s Dance Theater Workshop; and as dance writer for The Moscow Times in Russia.

RSVPs are REQUIRED to attend, whether you are eating lunch or not. Please click HERE to RSVP by 4:00 p.m., on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.