The English violinist, Lucy Russell, was born in Germany of Scottish/Norwegian origin, but has lived mainly in London. She was a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal Academy of Music, going on to take music degrees at the University of York (BA hons, MA, Music: 1984-1988), where she gave the first British performance of the Norwegian composer Alfred Janson's violin concerto Forspil, based on Hardanger violin traditions (an instrument she actually plays - notably in Uwe Steinmetz’s Genesis). While still a student she was invited to play with London Baroque and the English Baroque Soloists, and by the City of London Festival as a solo violinist in their production/recording of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea.
Lucy Russell has been a member of the Fitzwilliam since 1988, becoming leader in 1995; with them she has played all over Europe, North America, and South Africa, as well as making recordings for Linn Records, Divine Art Records, the BBC, and various foreign radio stations. She has recorded for Channel Classics, Hyperion, DG, Hännsler, and Decca with other ensembles, having been leader of Florilegium, Concerto Caledonia, Classical Opera Company, Retrospect Ensemble, Finchcocks Quartet, The King's Consort (2000-2012), and the New Chamber Opera Band of Players, as well as a director of the Scottish Early Music Consort and a solo violinist in the New London Consort. When time allows she still leads Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Armonico Consort, and Dunedin Consort, and has been invited to guest lead for the City of London Sinfonia. She has been Associate Leader of Southern Sinfonia, and has also directed the Danish group Ensemble Zimmerman. She has recently completed sessions for a Linn CD set of the J.S. Bach's Sonatas, with eminent harpsichordist John Butt.
Lucy Russell has taught and given master-classes all over the world - including the Czech Republic, the United States, South Africa, and Russia. Closer to home, she has worked at the Royal Academy of Music with the Modern Instrument Baroque Orchestra (since 2007), and at Trinity College of Music, Royal Holloway College London, Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, Birmingham Conservatoire, York University, the Royal Northern College of Music, St Mary’s Music School Edinburgh, Dartington Summer School, and Pro Corda. She is Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music and Visiting Professor of Violin at the University of St Andrews.
Lucy Russell likes to divide her time between performing on period instruments and their “modern” counterparts, exploring music from Monteverdi and Purcell to the present day. At York she studied with three former Fitzwilliam leaders: Christopher Rowland, Daniel Zisman, and Jonathan Sparey; then with Roger Raphael and Dona Lee Croft. She plays on a violin by Nicolò Gagliano, made in Naples, Italy, in c1780. Her baroque violin is by Charles Harris of Adderbury.