Professor of Music
Russell Hirshfield has appeared in recital throughout the United States, including performances in the cities of New York, Miami, Boston and San Francisco. Hirshfield has programmed the piano works of Olivier Messiaen for audiences in Brazil and the United States, including recitals at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium and Florence Gould Hall of the French Institute. “His brilliant performance…” in South Africa was “one of the highlights of the festive season” (Hermanus Times). His collaboration with the Rainbow Trust of Hermanus resulted in recitals to benefit the Township of Zwelihle. Hirshfield’s Connecticut performance of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 was noted for his “playing in sync with the conductor…taking center stage eloquently…” (Danbury News Times). He has been a visiting teacher and recitalist at numerous schools, including the University of Louisville, the University of Costa Rica, and SIAS University in Henan Province, China. In September he presents a lecture-recital on the music of György Ligeti, and a recital celebrating the centenary of Olivier Messiaen’s birth for the Annual Convention of the College Music Society in Atlanta; and, a solo recital and workshop at Arizona State University.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Boston University, and the University of Colorado, Hirshfield received his earliest musical training in New Haven. A participant in the Eastern Music Festival and London Masterclasses, his teachers include Robert Spillman, James Avery, Anthony di Bonaventura and Alvin Chow. While still a student his adventuresome programming was deemed “challenging even to the most ambitious pianist…” (Boulder Daily Camera).
A devoted music educator, Dr. Hirshfield is Associate Professor at Western Connecticut State University. He has lectured and presented at the conventions of the Connecticut Music Teachers Association and College Music Society. His commitment to music education was recognized by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He has served on the faculty of Northwestern State University in Louisiana, and as visiting professor at the State University of Campinas, Brazil.
An active chamber pianist, Hirshfield has collaborated with numerous vocalists and instrumentalists, including members of the Detroit Symphony, Slovak Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera and Cleveland Orchestra.