John Morris Russell, conductor
Manager: R. Douglas Sheldon
Management Territory: North America
With millions of recordings sold, the Cincinnati Pops, part of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra umbrella organization, is one of the world’s most admired ensembles. Founded in 1977 by the late conductor Erich Kunzel and now under the direction of John Morris Russell, the Pops tours nationally and internationally, most recently performing in Beijing as part of the Opening Festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. In 2005, the Pops completed an historic tour to China and Singapore performing in the Great Hall of the People in . . . Beijing. The Cincinnati Pops was the first U.S. pops orchestra to perform in China. It has also appeared to enthusiastic audiences in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C., Japan and Taiwan.
Following that first historic to China, a 2005 editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer said the tour had “put an exclamation mark on our orchestra’s phenomenal popularity in China, cultivated through its dozens of recordings. For residents of Greater Cincinnati, this success ought to underscore the fact that even among our region’s wealth of cultural treasures, the Pops represents a unique resource that no other city can quite match.”
The Pops is a vibrant part of Cincinnati and the surrounding region, presenting world-class concerts at historic Music Hall, the Orchestra’s summer home at Riverbend Music Center, and in neighborhoods throughout the community. When Cincinnati was chosen to be the first North American city to host the World Choir Games in 2012, the Pops was selected as the official orchestra for this international event, performing at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies under the direction of Conductor John Morris Russell.
The celebrated list of guest artists who have performed and collaborated with the Cincinnati Pops include Ella Fitzgerald, Frederica von Stade, Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini, Chris Botti, Mel Tormé, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Holliday, Bernadette Peters, Dave Brubeck, The Temptations, John Williams, Idina Menzel, Rosemary Clooney, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
John Morris Russell began his tenure as Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in September 2011. Mr. Russell “has shown a new generation the strength and versatility of symphonic pops,” raves the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mr. Russell has worked with many of North America’s most distinguished ensembles including the orchestras of Calgary, Detroit, Houston, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Miami’s New World Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and The Cleveland Orchestra. John Morris Russell’s first CD recording with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Home for the Holidays, was released in September 2012 on the Orchestra’s Fanfare Cincinnati label.
An estimated 30 million people have viewed eight national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS, and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 56 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra. The Pops’ Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings have been nominated for Grammy awards.