Twelve years after making his professional operatic debut in the world premiere of Philip Glass's Appomattox with the San Francisco Opera Company, Anthony Russell is now a vocalist, composer and arranger specializing in Yiddish song.
Anthony's work in traditional Ashkenazi musical forms led to a musical exploration of his own roots through the research, arrangement and performance of a hundred years of African American traditional music. The result of this is the album Convergence (2018), a collaboration with San Francisco Bay Area klezmer consort Veretski Pass exploring the sounds of one hundred years of African American and Ashkenazi Jewish music.
In 2017, Anthony teamed up with accordionist and pianist Dmitri Gaskin to win the Concorso Internacional de Canciones en Idish (Der Idisher Idol) in Mexico City, eventually forming a duo, Tsvey Brider (“Two Brothers”), for the composition and performance of new songs in the Yiddish language. Over the past year, Tsvey Brider has been featured in Berlin’s Radical Jewish Culture Festival, toured Poland and performed for culture and music festivals all over the United States, most recently for the Yiddish New York Festival in Manhattan.
Anthony's solo work in Jewish music has brought him to stages in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Tel Aviv, Symphony Space in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Limmud Fests across the United States and Europe.
He lives in Massachusetts with his husband of three years, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum of Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, MA.