Russell Gray has been working as a free lance conductor since 1998. He is currently holding posts of Adjunct Professor at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Australia), Principal Conductor of the Cambrian Philharmonic Orchestra (Wales), Musical Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, and President of the National Association of Brass band Conductors.
Russell was born in Scotland in 1968, and in his early years learned to play the cornet. By the time he was twelve years old he had already won the junior solo Championships of both Scotland and Great Britain. Whilst at university, Russell was a member of the world famous Black Dyke Mills Brass Band. Yamaha became aware of Russell’s talents and soon a relationship was established with him as an internationally endorsed soloist. This appointment has helped Russell become one of the most sought after Brass soloists and clinicians in the world today. In 1998 Russell started his conducting career by moving to Norway, accepting the position of resident conductor with the Stavanger Brass Band. During this time Russell helped them further their reputation as one of the finest brass ensembles in the world by recording several CDs, and fusing links with other musical groups and composers, including the popular Scandinavian folk group Vamp, Stig Roar Wigestrand (Jazz Violin), and Torstein Aagaard Nilsen. He also enhanced their name internationally touring Scotland, England, and Latvia.
Since moving back to England in 2001, Russell has won many competitions, including the Norwegian, Danish, Japanese, Scottish, English, and British National Brass Band Championships. In 2013 he won third prize at the Black Sea International Conducting Competition held in Romania. Russell has enjoyed working with many varied ensembles. These include the National youth band of Switzerland, the Queensland Youth Band, the Australian Army Band Brisbane, Her Majesty’s band of the Coldstream Guards, the Prince of Denmark’s Brass Ensemble, Slesvigske Musikkorps, The Danish Royal Guards band, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Pops Orchestra, and the Mueller International Chamber Orchestra. In 2007 Russell attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, to study for his Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting. During this time he worked with the Royal Scottish Academy Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, graduating with Distinction in 2008.
Russell has studied conducting with Bramwell Tovey, Stephane Deneve, David Danzmayr, Martyn Brabbins, and Alasdair Mitchell.