Kara Dahl Russell

Assoc. Program Director/Sr. Producer/WSCL Music Director

Kara Dahl Russell is a professional actress, contralto and musician (harpist).   From a family of musicians, in college she studied voice under the rigorous classical jury system with Jon Crain (regular co-star of world-famous Marnie Nixon), and has been a soloist in many venues.  Kara began her professional acting career during college, of which writing and music were a part. All ready a critically acclaimed actress, she trained in Washington D.C. at the prestigious and influential The Shakespeare Theatre (formerly The Folger).  NPR’s Bob Mondello hailed her as a genius in stage reviews and has compared her to both Eleanora Duse and Greta Garbo in print.  Her acting work in D.C., NYC and L.A. includes tv, film, voice-overs, and well over 40 stage productions.  It included writing, production work, and directing - her adaptation of a new work from story to stage received a rare write-in Helen Hayes Nomination,for a staging that combined dance fantasies in a serious drama.  Kara took up the harp as an adult, studying with Dr. Alison Bjorkedal in Los Angeles and currently continuing study at Peabody Conservatory with Dr. Ruth Inglefield.  In L.A. she was resident harpist on staff at 1st Presbyterian Church of Hollywood for 3 years where she regularly played over 50 events each year, and also regularly organized events with live music performances of many genres.  As a professional singer and harpist,  Kara has an on-going performance schedule,  playing private and public events as a soloist around the region, and with local orchestras.

Ways To Connect

While many music series explore the works and dedications of Composers, Kara Dahl Russell used this idea to focus on the lives of the (mostly) women who inspired the dedications and the compositions.  The many possible "Immortal Beloved" of Beethoven became part of the mix, and Kara offered her own compelling solution to the mystery based on the comments of the women involved.

Kara Dahl Russell presented a weekday after-the-news-at-noon series on the development of the "portable" piano from virginals and claviers to today's concert grand.  The series explored how the development of the instrument itself influenced the music of composers, and how their musical explorations expanded and changed the instrument itself and how it was played.

James M. Bennett students and pianists Kaya Manizade (Sr.) and Kieran Murphy (Jr.) have planned a dual recital to benefit the SWAC Instrument Barn. The Instrument barn is an organization which distributes instruments to low-income students aspiring to play in band or orchestra through Salisbury Music and Instrument Store (925 Eastern Shore Drive, Salisbury, MD).

Al  Calderaro is the gallery owner/curator of Gallery A in the blossoming arts section of downtown/oldtown Richmond, Va.   Kara Dahl Russell met Al a few weeks ago (traveling with her long-time friend, internationally recognized sculptor, John Antone).  They viewed the current show, and had such a multi-layered discussion that she invited Al to come on air to share his unusual view from “both sides of the desk” as a pop-art painter who worked in the heyday of the New York pop-art scene, and now a gallery owner.  He shares what he has done, and the new

AP Submissions

Mar 13, 2013

An internationally renowned pianist performing since the age of 8, who performed with the London & Berlin Symphonies, Martin Berkofsky’s recording of Beethoven’s Fantasie for piano, orch & chorus has been a big favorite with our audience.  Knowing this, and passing through Salisbury while traveling, he sent an email to Kara Dahl Russell and really wanted to “make it work” for us to have an interview together to be able to thank you, our audience for your enthusiastic support. 

Internationally esteemed Viola virtuoso Roberto Diaz, and current Director of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music performs in recital on Sept. 29th, 2012.   Kara Dahl Russell talks to him about the mystique of the Viola, the repertoire for the instrument, his upcoming performance and recordings, and whether “classical” music can hope for a more melodic future.

Click here for more information about the Sept. 29 recital.

Beata Moon

Sep 25, 2012

Kara Dahl Russell says, “I believe that Beata is a prime example of both where classical music is now, and definitely of where classical music is going.” Beata Moon was a child prodigy, went to Juliard, then paused to re-evaluate her place in music and it’s place in her life.  The result was a turn to composition.  Her work is inventive and fresh, as is her way of approaching the production side of music.  In an extended interview (with some of her music playing underneath) we have a wide ranging discussion of music production, family influences, a musician’s “side gigs” and new definitions

On August 18th at 8PM, "An Evening with Patricia Racette" will be presented by Opera at the Beach.

It will be at the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre in support of two local organizations.  Our listeners heard her last season singing at the Met, in both “Dialogues des Carmelites” and “Il Trovatore.”   She’ll sing a program of both opera and jazz & broadway hits, and we were fortunate to get to talk to her before she arrives in town. 

The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra will be performing "A Bach and Mozart Celebration" Saturday, March 3rd. SSO director Dr. Jeffrey Schoyen sat down to discuss the concert. 

On Friday February 3rd, Kara had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Everett McCorvey, Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble.  He and the Ensemble were conducting Choral workshops and masterclasses that week, culminating in performances held at Asbury United Methodist Church.  Dr. McCorvey spoke about the definition of and continued relevance of American Spiritual music.  Click this link to hear a streaming version of the interview. 

American-born piano virtuoso Ivan Ilic has just released a CD of Godowsky's transcriptions of Chopin's etudes... for the left hand alone.  Considered some of the most difficult works in piano repertoire, Ilic has made the rare release of the entire 22 work set of works.   Released Wednesday in Paris, not yet released here in the U.S., Kara Dahl Russell had a laughter-filled chat with Ivan about the works, the life of a musician, and a philosophy of art... and life.

In moving from the previous Website, we lost some on Kara Dahl Russel's "Classical Chats".

They are gathered here in this post. Look here for more of 89.5's Classical Chat series.