Cellist Russell Houston’s playing has been praised by the Dallas Morning News for his “intrinsically musical [playing].” Houston is the founding cellist of the Balourdet String Quartet, currently in residence at the Professional String Quartet Program at the New England Conservatory. The Balourdet received the Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as well as the Second Prize in the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. The quartet has also performed at the Schneider Concert Series, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies.
Russell is the recipient of top prizes at the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, Lennox International Young Artist Competition, Mondavi National Young Artists Competition, Sorantin International Competition, and the Samuel and Elinore Thaviu Competion. He has also performed as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Plano Symphony Orchestra.
His festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, New York String Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival, Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, Pyongchang Music Festival, and Taos School of Music.
Houston has had the privilege of sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Denis Bouriakov, Cho-Liang Lin, Brinton Smith, and members of the Cleveland and Dover Quartets.
Russell is currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma under the tutelage of Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory. Houston holds degrees from the Colburn Conservatory, Northwestern University, and Rice University. His primary teachers include Clive Green- smith, Hans Jensen, and Brinton Smith.