Professor of Vocal Coaching and Repertoire
Chair, Voice and Opera DepartmentDepartment:
- (585) 274-1495
Pianist Russell Miller has been a coach and teacher of vocal repertoire at Eastman since 1995. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad as soloist and chamber musician, including concert tours to Korea and Hong Kong with tenor Robert White and to Alaska and the former Soviet Union with cellist Stephen Kates. With violist Donald McInnes, he has recorded works of Hindemith and Loeffler on the Kleos Classics label. Notable collaborations include Schubert’s Winterreise with tenor Robert Swensen at the Pierpont Morgan Library, as well as recitals with Jan Opalach, Julia Broxholm, Lynn Blakeslee, Zvi Zeitlin, Susan Shafer, Todd Graber and Marilyn Horne. In October 2012, he was privileged to give the first North American performances of four newly-discovered songs of Claude Debussy with soprano Elizabeth Calleo as part of Eastman’s “Prismatic Debussy” festival organized by ESM Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Marie Rolf. For twelve years he was the musical director for the vocal quartet “SATB”, which performed a wide variety of repertoire from classical chamber pieces to Broadway.
A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Miller studied at the University of Southern California, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, and holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers have been Edith Knox, Brooks Smith, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Marshall Williamson, Margo Garrett, Martin Katz, Louis Nagel and Graham Johnson, with additional study in the Alexander Technique with Marilyn Barach. For twelve years he was a staff pianist and faculty member at the summer Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. He also served as pianist and harpsichordist for several professional opera companies, including the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee (Rossini’s La cenerentola and Verdi’s Aïda), Mercury Opera of Rochester (Mozart’s Don Giovanni) and several productions for Eastman Opera Theatre.
Besides his current appointment at Eastman, Dr. Miller has also held faculty positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Bowling Green State University, The Ohio State University and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has given master classes at Ithaca College, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the University of Missouri. Thanks to the generosity of ReachOut Kansas, Inc., he enjoys an ongoing relationship with the School of Music of the University of Kansas in Lawrence as a visiting vocal coach and teacher of collaborative piano. In recent summers, he has taught and performed at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Vancouver International Song Institute (VISI) in British Columbia, and at the International Conducting Workshop and Festival (ICWF) in the Czech Republic.
Works / Publications
20th Century Bravura Chamber Music (Kleos Classics, 2000) with Donald McInnes, viola and Elizabeth Suderberg, soprano. Music of Hindemith, Loeffler, Suderberg. UPC: 060550510626
It’s a Grand Night-Four Singing (private label, 2007) with vocal quartet SATB (Julia Broxholm, soprano; Wendy Bloom, alto; Todd Graber, tenor; Chris Grapentine, bass). Music of Gershwin, Weill, others; Jerry Depuit, arranger. UPC: 634479631580
Winterreise (CD Baby, 2012) with Robert Swensen, tenor. Cycle of 24 songs by Franz Schubert. UPC: 884501730167