'Performing the tuba solo Fnugg, by Norwegian composer Øystein Baadsvik, Russell serenaded the audience until there was a smile on every face.'
The Glasgow Herald
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Tuba player and music educator Fraser Russell began playing tuba in Carnoustie High School, Scotland under the tuition of Michael Robertson. He then went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), the Swedish National Orchestra Academy, Gothenburg; and completed his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln / Orchesterzentrum NRW.
Fraser has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to perform with several of Europe's top orchestras and ensembles including the Estonian Festival Orchestra, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken und Kaiserslautern, St. Petersburg Ballet, Norlands Opera and Symphony Orchestra, Staatsoperetta Dresden, Ghera Theater Orchester, World Brass, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Brass and Popical Ensembles, Scottish Chamber Orchestra Brass Quintet, and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
These performances have taken place in some of the worlds most prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall (UK), Berlin Philharmonie (Germany), Vienna Konzerthaus (Austria), Gothenburg Konzerthaus (Sweden), the Danish Radio Concert Hall (Denmark), Zürich Tonhalle (Switzerland), Suntory Hall (Japan) and the Mariinsky Konzerthaus (Russia). These performances have been with several of the world's finest conductors including Paavo Järvi, Kristian Järvi, Sir Roger Norrington, Kurt Masur, Stéphan Denève, Martyn Brabbins, Gary Walker, Alexander Shelly and numerous others.
During his studies he was a member of the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra (GB), and partook in the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme in 2014, as well as winning apprenticeships with the Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish, Scottish Opera and Mahler Chamber orchestras.
A passionate educator, Fraser worked for several years with Live Music Now! Scotland and in 2018, was selected from an international pool of candidates to be a cohort member of the Global Leader Program, a teaching artistry a programme run by the Youth Orchestras of the Americas. As part of this programme Fraser has visited Chile, Sweden and Jamaica where he worked extensively with the brass and wind community delivering workshops, lessons and masterclasses over a period of two weeks in March 2018. Whilst in Jamaica Fraser performed the World Premier of "Heavy - Big Flying Machine" by Scottish composer Richard Greer.
Now based in Dresden, Germany, Fraser holds the position of Winds Director for the award winning music for social change project Musaik -Grenzenlos Musizieren e.V, as well as tuba teacher and coach for Spielmanzug Oberlichtenau.
Fraser is thankful for the support of the Dewar Awards for financial assistance in the purchase of instruments.
As a recording artist, Fraser has performed on the debut albums of Admiral Fallow and Beecake, as well as the award winning Brahms cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen published by Sony Classics on CD and DVD. In 2019 Fraser recorded once again with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Iiro Rantala, a Finish Jazz pianist on the famous ACT label. The recordings can be purchase at the links below:
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Mythos - CD, Estonian Festival Orchestra, P. Järvi
Photo: Vicky Williams
Fraser has a huge passion and commitment to education and outreach work, and believes that music can have an incredibly positive impact on people’s lives. Fraser is the Winds Director as well as tuba and euphonium tutor for Musaik, a music for social change programme in Dresden, offering free tuition to children 3 times a week. As a coach Fraser works with the SOZ Orchestra in Oberlichtenau, Dresden. As well as the outreach work he has coordinated and delivered as a member of Pure Brass quintet, Fraser has trained and worked as an teaching artist with the Scottish Opera Education Department on their Elephant Angel Project, which travelled the length and breadth of Scotland over February and March 2011, delivering workshops to over 500 Primary 6 pupils. He has been a musician on the prestigious Live Music Now! scheme and his project Tuba Tots, an introduction of brass instruments for nursery children, appeared in the Aberdeen International Youth Arts Festival in 2012. He has also given masterclasses in Jamaica, Scotland, Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands and has coached for the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland and National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica. In his high school years Fraser studied percussion, specialising in pipe band snare drum and drum kit under George Black and Paul Judge respectively. This love of percussion has had a continued impact on his musical tastes and ideas when teaching and performing.
Musaik - Grenzenlos Musizieren!
Musaik is an award winning music for social change programme started in Dresden, Prohlis in 2017 by Deborah Oehler and Luise Börner. Beginning in a local shopping center with a small group of children receiving free violin and cello lessons 3 times a week, Musaik now boasts a full orchestra of 75 children who regularly perform concerts around the city in various locations from school games halls to the Semperopera! Fraser has been the wind director of the program since August 2019 and Tuba and Euphonium teacher since September 2018. Click here for a link to Musaiks' website.
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The band "Banda Comunale" was founded in 2001 by initially eleven Dresden musicians as a reaction to the growing neo-Nazi marches in the state capital. The musical style was shaped from the beginning by strong international influences (Balkans / Eastern Europe, North Africa, Latin America).
The band became known nationwide for their political engagement against xenophobia and racism, especially against the PEGIDA movement, which is strongly represented in Dresden. The band regularly supported corresponding initiatives and demonstrations with their performances and initiated with other cultural workers a. a. the "Dresdner Neujahrsputz" as a creative counter-reaction to the daily walks of the racist Pegida. For these actions the band was nominated for the Saxon Prize for Democracy.
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