A graceful yet powerful force on the podium, Argentinian-Italian conductor Michelle Di Russo is known for her compelling interpretations, passionate musicality, and championing of contemporary music. Recently appointed Interim Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and Assistant Conductor of North Carolina Symphony, Di Russo is a Freeman Conducting Fellow in Chicago Sinfonietta’s prestigious Project Inclusion program, as well as a fellow at the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute. Di Russo was also the recipient of a 2020 American Austrian Foundation/Faber Young Conductors Fellowship and a Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarship at the Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music, and she was a conducting fellow at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy.
Past performance highlights include those as Assistant Conductor for the Prague Summer Nights Festival, as Assistant Conductor for the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra, and as cover conductor and assistant for the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Musicfest. During the pandemic Di Russo co-created Girls Who Conduct, an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between women and men in the conducting field and encouraging younger generations of women and non-binary conductors. A native of Argentina, Di Russo holds a Doctoral Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Arizona State University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Kentucky. She completed her degree in Orchestral Conducting and Music Production of Audiovisual Media from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, where she was awarded an Ad-Hoc Diploma for the highest grade in Orchestral Conducting.