John Morris Russell leads 5th season for HHSO


The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra's 35th season, "Music of Grandeur and Majesty," opens on Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head, under the direction of conductor John Morris Russell.

Eminent pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins the orchestra in performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor," Beethoven's Fidelio and Barber's Second Essay for Orchestra.

Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, Russell is in his fifth season as music director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Under Russell's leadership, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, has enjoyed unprecedented artistic growth; concert attendance has blossomed and the orchestra has doubled the number of concerts they present. Mr. Russell leads the orchestra in eight masterwork subscription concerts annually, and continues to reveal his deep passion for Classical and early Romantic orchestral literature.

Under his guidance, the HHSO has sparked collaborations with regional ensembles and performers that continue to widen the reach of the orchestra, including Hilton Head Dance Theatre, Charleston Southern University, the Savannah Children's Choir, the Lean Ensemble Theatre Company, and Georgia Southern University.

In addition, Russell has been actively involved in the development of the HHSO "Music Bridges" program, engaging thousands of school children from Bluffton to Hilton Head Island in ensemble visits and full orchestra concerts, while integrating the musical culture of Gullah and Lowcountry traditions into presentations and programming.

Concert tickets for opening night are $40, $75 and $85. A reception will follow the performance.

First Presbyterian Church is located at 540 William Hilton Pkwy. For more information, call the symphony office at 843-842-2055 or visit

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