At the tender age of 16 Russ sold a pig to buy his first guitar. A Texas native transplanted to Colorado, Russ actively performs and teaches in the Denver metro area and elsewhere. Since earning his Master’s Degree, Russ has explored contemporary guitar music in his duo Derelict Hands with Scottish guitarist Calum Borthwick. This summer Derelict Hands recorded their forthcoming debut album after a tour of Scotland. As a dynamic instructor Russ actively expands his teaching studio and currently teaches guitarists of all ages and skill levels, ranging from classical to pop music. He regularly engages in collaborative works including premieres, commissions, and inter-disciplinary work.
Russ attended the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where he earned his Master’s degree under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed performers and pedagogues, Ricardo Iznaola and Jonathan Leathwood. His final recital at DU was recognized as an Outstanding Recital in May 2015, and shortly after Derelict Hands took top prize in the ensemble division of the Southern Guitar Festival.
In 2010 Russ was accepted on scholarship into the Meadows School of the Arts’ music division at Southern Methodist University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree with Robert Guthrie. In 2011, he took two first prizes at the Brownsville Guitar Festival and Competition with his duo and the Meadows Quartet.
His formal training began at Collin College where he studied under Sabine Madriguera, There he particpated in her award-winning One O’Clock Ensemble and earned two first prizes at the Brownsville Guitar Festival and Competition (2007 and 2010). While at Collin College, he was also awarded first prize in the advanced division of Collin College’s Annual Guitar Competition.
Please check out the following websites which give more information on the various projects that Russ is involved with.
His guitar: A Wood Ring Spruce - Cedar Double Top, with Cocobolo Back and Sides beautifully framed with Snakewood Bindings.