The Lucy Moore Ruffin Chair
Michelle Di Russo is Associate Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony. In addition to UNC Health Summerfest 2022, she has conducted Young People's Concerts, bilingual educational performances, and Statewide Holiday Pops concerts with the Symphony. She has also been featured in the Symphony’s “Behind the Music” concert preview videos.
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. Di Russo holds a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from Arizona State University, where she served as Assistant Conductor for the ASU Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Music Theatre and Opera. She recently served as Interim Director of Orchestras at Cornell University.
The recipient of the 2020 American Austrian Foundation/Faber Young Conductors Fellowship, Di Russo has also been a part of Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion 2020/21 season and a conducting fellow at The Dallas Opera Hart Institute for Women Conductors in 2021. She has participated twice in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, participated in workshops with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” and was a conducting fellow at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy.
Raised in Argentina with Italian roots, Di Russo started studies in ballet at the age of three and singing lessons at the age of sixteen. She completed a degree at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires, and holds an additional Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Kentucky.