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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Holiday Pops turned Kleinhans Music Hall into a sea of red. Musicians wore red. The audience, packing the hall from top to bottom, wore red. I wore red. Only John Morris Russell, the BPO's principal pops conductor, put a different twist on Christmas attire, rocking a snowy white jacket. There was a good energy to the concert. Slip…

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For some of us, Christmas music isn't just something that comes out in December, or November if you're pushing it. For some of us, Christmas music is a hobby gone out of control. I personally have several hundred Christmas records -- vinyl LPs ranging from opera to jazz, Bach to Bob Goulet. And behold, I have received tidings of great joy: I have a kindred spirit in …

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Love is in the air at Kleinhans Music Hall. John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's irrepressible principal pops conductor, is presenting a vivacious Valentine's Day concert. With him is soprano Lisa Vroman, who has played Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera" 2,700 times. Vroman emerged each time she sang in a different glamorous gown. The first was…

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John Morris Russell, the colorful maestro known in December as "Mr. Christmas," is returning to Buffalo. And this time, you can call him "Mr. Valentine." Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor, is presiding over two Valentine's Day concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall, at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 10, and at 8 p.m. Feb. 11. The concert features gues…

Music

Call him Mr. Christmas. Lots of people do. We speak, of course, of the man in red himself -- John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal pops conductor. The word is out that Russell collects Christmas music, that he has tons of it, mostly on vinyl. This passion shows in his work. In 2015, his first Holiday Pops concert with our orchestra charmed …

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Pops season kicks off in cinematic fashion Sept. 24. John Morris Russell, the orchestra's effervescent new pops conductor, is presenting a tribute to film composer John Williams. That means music from "Jurassic Park," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "E.T." and "Superman." The concert begins with "Raiders of the Lost Ark." And …

Music

John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s new principal pops conductor, made quite an impression at Friday and Saturday’s Pops concerts. And Russell wasn’t even conducting. He wasn’t even here.He greeted the audience via video.With his heavy, uncompromising glasses and rapid-fire voice, Russell just about jumped out of the screen. As he discussed the upcomi…