RUSSELL PETERSON (b. 1969) An accomplished classical/jazz saxophonist, bassoonist, and composer, Russell Peterson holds degrees from Youngstown State University (Ohio), Le Conservatoire de Bordeaux (France), and Bowling Green State University (Ohio), where he studied with Dr. James Umble, Donald Byo, Jean-Marie Londeix, Dr. Jeffery Lyman and Dr. John Sampen. Winner of numerous prizes, including the top prize at the International Geneva Saxophone Concours, (Switzerland), and first place winner of the MTNA National Music Competition, Mr. Peterson has soloed with orchestras in the United States as well as Europe, including the Dana Chamber Orchestra, (USA), Concordia Orchestra, (USA), Bowling Green Philharmonic, (USA), L'Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, (Switzerland), Collegium Musicum, Basel (Switzerland), The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra (USA), The Orchestra Conservatorio Superior De Musica (Spain), The Western New York Chamber Orchestra (USA), and The St. Petersburg Philharmonic, (Russia).
Mr. Peterson is an active chamber musician, performing extensively throughout Europe and The United States with The Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet, and is currently also performing with the Hard-Bop Jazz Saxophone Quartet in Fargo-Moorhead. The Hard-Bop Quartet's first CD release, "DON'T STEP ON YOUR NECK," is available on Sea-Breeze records and the TSQ's debut CD, "MOUNTAIN ROADS," is available on Albany Records. Russell's first solo CD, "AMERICAN BREATH," is on Barking Dog Records and features the music of David Maslanka, Larry Bell, and Peterson. Mr. Peterson released "Russ Peterson and Friends, Jazz/Rock Saxophone" in January 2010. As an orchestral player, Mr. Peterson has served as bassoonist with several symphony orchestras and is currently principal bassoonist with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, as well as bassoonist with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Wind Quintet.
Mr. Peterson has performed with some of the most notable artists in the business: Phil Woods, Manhattan Transfer, Dave Weckle, Peter Erskin, Henry Mancini, Gregg Bissonette, Ray Charles, Wayne Newton, Bill Watrous, Gregg Field, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Maureen McGovern, Samuel Sanders, The Eroica Trio, Will Kennedy, Frankie Avalon, Tommy Igoe, Nick Brignola, Zoro, Ignacio Berroa, Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Four Tops.
As a composer, Mr. Peterson has premiered his "Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra" with Joel Revzen and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra in 2000, as well as his "Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Percussion Orchestra" at Concordia College with the Tri-College Percussion Ensemble, which GRAMOPHONE Magazine (February 2003) noted: "Peterson's own 16-minute Concerto, featuring Spanish rhythms and a lovely second-movement duet with vibraphone, is an effective vehicle for his striking command of color and dynamics. The highly-charged sound is riveting..."
He was commissioned by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony to compose a "Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra," which was premiered to rave reviews in April 2002, including GRAMOPHONE Magazine (May 2003): "Peterson playing with great abandon and dazzling virtuosity, the music has a seductive allure and visceral excitement that is more than the sum of its purely musical parts."A CD of "The music of Russell Peterson featuring the Saxophone and Timpani Concerto" is now available from the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony. The Fergus Falls High School Band premiered his band work, "The Tornado of 1919," in 2001 and his new chamber works for sax were premiered in 2003: "Sonata for Alto sax and piano" and "Quintet for Alto sax and strings." He premiered his new "Sonata for alto saxophone and Marimbas" with the Concordia Marimba Choir in 2006 at the Concordia Day of Percussion. He was commissioned by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony to compose an opener for the 2005-06 season. "Between 2 Cultures" was premiered at the opening concert in September 2005. His "Trio for Alto Saxophone, Violin and Piano" was premiered at the region 3 NASA convention, April of 2007. Russell's "Trio for flute, saxophone and piano" was premiered in Moorhead, Minnesota, in October 2009 and was performed in Calfornia at the Summer 2010 National Flute Association convention, and the National North American Saxophone Alliance Convention in Athens, GA in March of 2010. His "Trio for Viola, Saxophone and Piano" was premiered in 2010. His "Sonata for alto saxophone and guitar" was be premiered at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland. The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony commissioned him to write the "Red River Overture," which opened the 2013 season, celebrating the arrival of new music director, Chris Zimmerman. His "Concerto #2 for Saxophone and Orchestra" was premiered by Wisuwat Pruksavanich and the Bangkok Philharmonic in Thailand in 2015. He is also the house arranger for the annual "Symphony Rocks!" every summer, where the Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome joins the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony for an outdoor event at Bluestem Center for the Arts in Moorhead, Minnesota.
Mr. Peterson has served on the faculty at Youngstown State University (Ohio), The University of Toledo (Ohio), Minnesota State University Moorhead, The Interlochen Summer Arts Camp (Michigan), The International Music Camp, and is currently associate professor of saxophone, bassoon and Jazz Ensemble I at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
For more information on Russell Peterson, please see his webpage.