Cincinnati Pops’ John Morris Russell to mark ten years in 2020-21

Posted on: February 25, 2020

John Morris Russell with the Cincinnati Pops. (Photo courtesy Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)

“Broadway star Audra McDonald, Pink Martini, comedians from Second City, and three shows featuring Disney films and clips from animated classics with live orchestra … will help John Morris Russell celebrate his 10th anniversary as Cincinnati Pops conductor next season,” writes Janelle Gelfand in Friday’s (2/21) Cincinnati Business Courier. “Honoring his 10th anniversary in the 2020-21 season, Russell (also known as ‘JMR’) will conduct a special show he’s calling ‘JMR’s Greatest Hits.’ It will include his personal favorites … and a new work by Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre…. The Pops season also includes an all-new ‘Cirque de la Symphonie’ show [with] music by Latin composers such as Astor Piazzolla and Manuel de Falla…. Actor and conductor Damon Gupton, newly named principal guest conductor of the Pops, will … preside over John Williams’ epic score to ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.’ … The Pops, Russell and producer Elaine Martone were nominated this year for a Grammy Award for their ‘American Originals: 1918’ album. There are no plans yet to record an album next season, but, Russell said, ‘after such a strong showing at the Grammys, it has whet our palate to continue recording projects in future.’ ”