Matthew Russo, trombonist & educator

Instructor of Trombone, University of Connecticut


Trombonist Matthew Russo enjoys a varied career throughout Connecticut as an educator and performer. Dr. Russo is serves on the faculty at The University of Connecticut and The Hartt School Community Division. Prior to his appointment at UConn, he served on the faculty of The Hartt School, leading the Hartt Trombone Ensemble in the premieres of 10 new works for trombone choir and fundraising concerts that raised thousands of dollars for local charities. Dr. Russo’s students have had success in regional, state, and national competitions and festivals. 

As a performer, Dr. Russo frequently performs as a soloist with area ensembles, including a recent solo concerto performance with the Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, he premiered Ryan Jesperson’s Concerto for Trombone, “Cowiche” with the UConn Symphony Orchestra. He is principal trombonist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and appears regularly with the New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, Wallingford, and Greater Bridgeport Symphonies. He is a regular trombonist at the Goodspeed Opera House, most recently in its productions of Oklahoma! and Thoroughly Modern Millie, and has played for the Hartford Stage, Monomoy, Ivoryton, and Playhouse on Park theatre companies.

A frequent recitalist and advocate of new music, Dr. Russo endeavors to bring unknown works to new audiences through innovative programs and themes. In these endeavors, he has premiered dozens of works. His most recent program, Memoirs, focused on music and memory and featured the premiere of Julien Monick’s Azteccia Sketches for trombone and piano. 

Dr. Russo is a two-time winner of the Paranov Concerto Competition and was runner-up in the 2012 International Trombone Association Alto Competition at the International Trombone Festival in Paris, France. Dr. Russo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from The Hartt School and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. His main area of research is the collegiate trombone ensemble. His doctoral essay, Transcribing the Fourth Movement of Brahms’s Symphony No. 4,discusses the compositional techniques used by transcribers and arrangers when writing for the trombone ensemble. His principal teachers include Dr. Ronald A. Borror, Scott Hartman, and John D. Rojak. Dr. Russo plays Hartman mouthpieces.