Kara Dahl Russell

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

Kara Dahl Russell  is a professional actress, contralto and musician (harpist) who comes to Delmarva Public Radio with a wealth of professional performance and production experience.   Kara is a critically acclaimed actress who trained at The Shakespeare Theatre in D. C.  

Her roles have included Mrs. Kendall (The Elephant Man), Celimene (The Misanthrope),  Fay McMahon (Loot),  and Fastrada (Pippin) as well as many new plays, and in the cast of many award nominated plays.  She has toured for the Kennedy Center (The Pearl), and performed in over 40 professional stage productions nationally, and on film and TV.  

Trained at The Shakespeare Theatre, NPR’s Bob Mondello hailed her as a genius in stage reviews and she has been compared to both Eleanora Duse and Greta Garbo by national reviewers.   Kara performed at “The Kitchen” art gallery with international artist and sculptor Jon Antone in the very first bi-coastal New York/L.A. internet café for a star studded gallery show/book launch/interview program on Barbie and images of women in art.  Kara studied voice under a rigorous classical jury system, in private lessons with Jon Crane (regular opera co-star of the world-famous Marni Nixon). 

Voice overs for radio and film have been an on-going part of her commercial and theatrical work.   Kara’s production credits include sound design, writing and script analysis at several theatres, choreography, and a play she directed and adapted received a rare write-in nomination for a Helen Hayes Award. 

A life-long musician, she began playing harp late in life, and was Resident Harpist on Staff at a large historic church in Los Angeles for 3 years, where she regularly played over 50 events each year, and also organized and produced events with live music performances of many genres.   

Currently, as a regularly performing professional harpist, Kara teaches, and plays locally & nationally for events, recital performances and orchestras.  She won an “Achievement Award in Harp” from Peabody Prep. and has studied harp privately with (Grammy Award Winning) Dr. Alison Bjorkedal,  Dr. Ruth Inglefield (Head of Peabody Conservatory Harp Dept.), and Dr. Anastasia Pike (Peabody Prep. and Columbia University). 

In her work here at Delmarva Public Radio she has achieved the rare distinction for a music host of winning two Associated Press Awards for “Outstanding Specialty Reporting” for music series.

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

The Integrated Orchestra

Courtly Love and the Cult of the Virgin

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.