Christopher Russell, M.M.

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Music Performance
Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
Instrumental Conducting
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2003
Photo of Christopher Russell, M.M.


Christopher Russell conducts the Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra and the Orange County School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra. At APU, he heads the graduate instrumental conducting program and is Chair of the Music Performance Department. The Los Angeles Times called him “a forcefully dramatic conductor with a strong technique.”

Russell conducted orchestras on five continents, including in famous venues like Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Recent guest conducting appearances include the MasterWorks Festival in Indiana and Ohio, the Yellow River Symphony in Zhengzhou, China and the Orquestra Sinfônica Heliópolis in São Paulo, Brazil. He was a judge in the final round of the Hong Kong International Music Festival in 2017 and 2018.

An advocate for new and rarely-heard older music, Russell has conducted numerous world, U.S., and West Coast premieres. His recording with the APU Symphony of Leopold Damrosch’s Symphony in A was internationally released by the British record label Toccata Classics.

Russell is a regular pre-concert lecturer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He also was guest lecturer at performing arts venues in Dalian and Qingdao, China.


  • M.M. in Orchestral Conducting, Indiana University
  • B.A in Composition, California State University, Fullerton

Academic Area

  • School of Music (College of the Arts)


  • Music History and Appreciation
  • Orchestral Conducting

Courses Taught

  • MUS 271/371/588: Symphony Orchestra
  • MUS 363: Instrumental Conducting
  • MUS 455: Late Romantic and 20th Century Music
  • GMUS 510: Graduate Conducting II (Instrumental)
  • GMUS 511/512: Graduate Conducting III and IV (Applied Lessons)