Growing up in rural Northern Minnesota, Russell’s fascination with movie music started at an early age. Outside of school he’d be found playing in the woods, using his imagination, and already dreaming of making music for movies.
He began piano in middle school and excelled at the trombone and was mentored by the local band teacher, Charlie Johnson. His trombone skills lead him to the Minnesota Youth Symphony Orchestra where it’s leader and conductor Manny Laureano took him under his wing and really encouraged his writing. Russell went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota where he studied composition under Dominick Argento and Alex Lubet. While there, he also studied piano under Duncan McNab and Paul Shaw. His mentors encouraged him to apply to the renowned USC Film Scoring Graduate Program, to which he was accepted and graduated. At USC, Russell studied under Jack Smalley and David Spear.
Russell’s scoring credits include the Emmy winning docu-series America's Wall for PBS, the feature films- The Public Domain, Into Temptation, and Acts of Mercy, as well as the new stage production -The Big Blue River. He also has many concert works that have been commissioned and performed domestically. Russell currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and wishes to give special thanks to Vickie Krueger, whose immense support and guidance is truly appreciated.