Bruce Russell was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge, where he joined the choir at the age of ten and where the Senior Chorister, then aged 12-1/2, was none other than fellow King's Singer Bob Chilcott. He continued his education at the Shrewsbury School and from there gained a choral scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied music. After three years in London studying singing with John Carol Case, he returned to Christ Church, where he combined singing in the choir with freelance work and teaching flute and voice in local schools, including Radley and Abingdon. Before joining The King's Singers full-time in January 1988, Bruce was singing in the choir at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (where many Royal occasions take place), while continuing teaching at Radley College.
When asked if there were any problems stepping into such an effective and established team of singers, he replied,"In a way, one was ridiculously spoiled, because all the problems the original members had encountered in the early years had been resolved. There was a full diary, good fees, sensible touring dates and holidays built in to the schedule. I slotted in without having to fight for all those things myself in the way the six originals had to do.
Twenty years ago the King's Singers were tremendously well known in Britain and pretty much a household name for anyone who knew anything about music and many more besides. At the same time, they were almost unheard of abroad. Now, the situation is almost entirely the other way round. In England, people wonder whether we're still going strong; in Germany and America, where we do most of our work, we're pretty much as well known as we were at home in the past."
He still lives the town of Windsor with his wife Alison and their young son Oliver. He enjoys good food and wine, as well as exploring towns, villages, churches, country houses and, most of all, the vineyards and restaurants of France and England.
An update from Bruce: "Having spent two years at college just outside Oxford, I was ordained deacon in the Church of England on July 4th[!] last year, in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford where I sang for many years before joining the King's Singers. On July 2nd this year I was ordained as a priest.
I'm curate at Bracknell, a town 9 miles SW of Windsor. Until 1948 Bracknell was a tiny market town of 4,000 inhabitants, but that year was declared a "New Town" and has a population now of around 70,000. Today it is a centre for I.T. – most people of working age in our congregation of around 170 work either for computer companies, or for the national Met. Office, which is also located here.
My own work is varied and interesting, and the whole family is now very settled.
With the King's Singers:
- A Little Christmas Music
- An der schönen blauen Donau
- Annie Laurie
- Capella (2003)
- Capella, Vol. 1
- Capella, Vol. 2
- Chanson d'amour
- Get Happy!
- Good Vibrations
- Grandes Exitos
- Greatest Hits
- Here's a Howdy Do!
- La Dolce Vita
- Lullaby of Birdland
- Magic Castle
- Renaissance Anglaise, Francaise, et Espagnole
- Sermons and Devotions
Singing outside the King's Singers: