Matthew Russo, trombonist & educator

Instructor of Trombone, University of Connecticut


Trombonist Matthew Russo enjoys a dynamic career throughout the Northeast as an educator and performer. Dr. Russo has served on the faculty at The University of Connecticut since 2015 where he teaches applied trombone lessons, brass techniques, and leads the UConn Trombone Choir. He is also on faculty at Wesleyan University and Choate Rosemary Hall.

Dr. Russo is principal trombonist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and appears regularly with orchestras from New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, Wallingford, Greater Bridgeport, and the Orchestra New England. He appears on Orchestra New England’s latest release for NAXOS Complete Sets for Chamber Orchestra. He is the regular trombonist at the Goodspeed Opera House where he has played over 15 productions since 2015. He has also played for the Hartford Stage, Monomoy, Ivoryton, and Playhouse on Park theatre companies and maintains an active freelance career playing musicals throughout the state.

A frequent recitalist and advocate of new music, Dr. Russo strives to bring unknown works to new audiences through innovative programs and themes. In these endeavors he has premiered dozens of new works. 2023 saw the premieres of his latest commissioned work Lament and Scherzo by Emily DeNucci as well as Für Frankie by Michael Denis O’Callaghan. His recording of Robert Carl’s Updraft for ten multitracked trombones is set to be released on Neuma Records in April 2024. As a soloist, Russo performs frequently with area ensembles including appearances this season with the Willimantic Orchestra and the Holyoke Civic Symphony.

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. He is an S.E. Shires artist and plays Hartman mouthpieces.