Cincinnati Pops extends John Morris Russell's contract

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Pops announced an agreement with Conductor John Morris Russell on Monday, extending his contract through the 2018-2019 season.

Russell took over the Cincinnati Pops in September of 2011.

The Cincinnati Pops has seen double digit increases in attendance over the past five years. Under Russell's leadership, they have also seen a reemergence into commercial recording and touring.

Highlights of Russell's tenure so far include ten sold-out shows in the 3400-seat Music Hall, an expansion of the Lollipops Family Concert series, two commercial recordings that have each made Billboard's charts, world premiers, two command performances at the 2012 World Choir Games, parks concerts throughout the community, conducting the USO Tribute Cincinnati Gala Concert last fall, and three consecutive years conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Classical Roots concert celebrating African-American musical traditions.

Russell also shared the conducting podium with his colleague, CSO Music Director Louis Langrée, during the immensely successful LumenoCity event last August in Cincinnati's Washington Park that drew 35,000 people over two nights.

"Looking back to the last two and a half years, I am stunned by all we have created at the Pops – I am thrilled to continue on this incredible journey together with our amazing musicians, fantastic staff and our vibrant and engaged community," said Russell. "I can't wait to share our musical joy with Cincinnati and the world, for many years to come!"

In addition to his position in Cincinnati, Russell is also Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina where the number of concerts have doubled since he took over in 2012. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Windsor Symphony and a popular guest conductor with orchestras throughout North America including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Toronto and Vancouver symphonies, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Russell next conducts the Cincinnati Pops on April 4, 5 and 6 with Pixar in Concert.

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