Russell McGregor was born in Oxford, England but grew up in Melbourne, Australia. At the age of 7 he began to play the violin and in 1982 received his Diploma of Arts in Music at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Since 1992 Russell has lived in Vienna. From 1994 – 1996 he was the Concertmaster at the Vienna Chamber Opera, and since 1997 he has been Concertmaster and Conductor with the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra. Russell has an intensive chamber-music career and performs in Bulgaria, Indonesia, Canada, Japan, England and Italy. As an extremely successful “Stehgeiger” he has now established a wonderful rapport with the Johann Strauss Ensemble and they appear regularly not only in Austria but throughout the whole world! He not only impresses with his violin virtuosity but he also charms the audiences as he takes them on a musical journey through the magical music of the Strauss dynasty.
Russell McGregor is the most well known (and famous) “Stehgeiger” in Vienna with his individual Strauss interpretation and unique sound which is derived from the style of Mozart, which he has developed performing with the Camerata Salzburg. Therefore it is extremely easy to see how his Johann Strauss interpretation can at times mesmerize the audience with a somewhat floating feeling! One of his main objectives when performing on stage is to break down the barrier that so often exits between the artists and the audience. This therefore allows the audience to feel relaxed and also play an important part in the concert. As he also speaks to the audience during the performance this gives the concert more of an entertainment atmosphere instead of a straight classical ambient, along with more of an insight into the music being played and the performers on stage. This interaction is very important, as many of the compositions he performs require the audience to participate as well. Russell McGregor has performed concerts in the Golden Hall of the famous Musikverein in Vienna and has also performed with Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Dame Kiri Tekanawa and Ildiko Raimondi. A special highlight for Russell in 2011 was to perform a concert with the Johann Strauss Ensemble in the famous opera house in Sydney, Australia. In South America Russell McGregor has performed the music of Strauss in football stadiums to 15 to 20,000 screaming fans. Russell McGregor and the Johann Strauss Ensemble are now highly in demand for concerts in Romania, Spain, Greece, Hungary, China and Australia.
Russell McGregor plays on a Carlo Giuseppe Testore violin from 1697.