Russell J. Weismann
Weismann's performance, sprinkled with engaging comments from the stage and illustrations of some of the instrument's stops, put this clearly fine instrument through its paces..."
Equally accomplished as both organist and scholar, Russell Weismann is an emerging young artist whose achievements in performance and academic spheres have earned him international acclaim among audiences and intellectuals alike.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Russell holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from George Mason University, where his dissertation research explored the North American influence of the German organ builder, Rudolf von Beckerath. Additionally, Russell completed the Master of Music degree from Yale University and the Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from Duquesne University while earning a certificate of study from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and additional studies in music at Carnegie Mellon University . His primary organ instructors were John Walker, Martin Jean, Ann Labounsky, and Donald Wilkins. Additionally, Russell studied harpsichord with Richard Rephann and conducting with Brady Allred and Jeffrey Douma.
As an organist, Russell has performed recitals across the United States, as well as in Europe, Central America, Asia, and Africa. He was awarded the First Place prize in the 2004 American Guild of Organists Regional Young Organists Competition and was twice accepted to participate in the London Summer Organ Course. Russell was also a featured performer at the 2004 American Guild of Organists Convention in Los Angeles, the 2010 Organ Historical Society Convention in Pittsburgh, the 2013 Conference of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians in Washington, DC, and the 2014 American Guild of Organists Convention in Boston, MA (as a finalist in the Schoenstein Organ Competition). Russell has been featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams radio program, and was among a select few number of organists chosen to play a dedicatory recital on the Rubenstein organ at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during its inaugural year. In 2020, Russell was the featured American organist during the annual Lebanese Organ Week in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2021, Russell released two recordings: Wonderful Splendor, a solo organ recording produced by Raven, and Heroic Expressions, a trumpet and organ album with William Gerlach, Principal Trumpet of the National Symphony Orchestra.
An active member of the American Guild of Organists, Russell successfully achieved the Guild’s Associate, Colleague, and Service Playing certificates, and has served as past Dean and sub-Dean of the District of Columbia Chapter as well as a member of the Guild’s National Board for Membership Development. Among his many community outreach efforts, Russell is in his eighth year as Artistic Director of "Music @ the Monastery," a thriving musical series held at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C., and director of the Capital Organ Studio, a regional based initiative offering private organ instruction to students of all ages and abilities. Russell is currently the Director of Music and Organist at Georgetown University. His past professional experience include serving as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Bethesda, Maryland, Associate Director of Music at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, University Chapel Organist at Yale University, and Associate Music Director at Saint Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.
As a scholar in the fields of sacred music, organ culture, and pedagogy, Russell has earned distinction as a laureate of several scholarships, including the André Marchal award for excellence in the study of sacred music and the Hugh Giles award for distinction in the discipline of music and the arts. He has several articles in print and is focusing his current research on the work of Rudolf von Beckerath, nationalistic expressions in twentieth-century organ building, and South American Jesuit missionary musical traditions. Russell has held teaching positions at Yale University as a Teaching Fellow in Music History and as a Secondary Organ Instructor, as well as at Georgetown University and George Mason University as Adjunct faculty teaching courses in Music History and Music Theory.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Featured Performer, 2014 AGO Convention
Finalist, Schoenstein Organ Competition
Featured Performer, 2013 NAPM Conference
Featured Performer, 2010 Organ Historical Society Convention
Featured Performer, 2004 AGO Convention
First Place, 2004 AGO Regional Young Organists Competition
Doctor of Musical Arts – George Mason University
Master of Music – Yale University
Certificate of Study – Yale Institute of Sacred Music
Postgraduate Coursework – Carnegie Mellon University
Bachelor of Music – Duquesne University