Lahni Russell joined the Saskatoon Symphony as Principal Cellist/Artist in Residence in 1989. A student of the world-renowned cellist, Janos Starker, she completed Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University, both with High Distinction. She served as an Associate Instructor of Cello at IU and was awarded the IU School of Music’s prestigious Performer’s Certificate. She has performed in master classes of Yo Yo Ma, Paul Tortelier, Zara Nelsova, Aldo Parisot, Anner Bylsma, Ronald Leonard, Zoltan Szekely, Timothy Eddy, and Joel Krosnick.
She is the first cellist to have won the Saskatchewan Concerto Competition and has played solos with the Regina Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Players, the Saskatchewan Chamber Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony and the Tanglewood Centre Orchestra. Her orchestral experiences include numerous performances as Solo Cellist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (North American tours), the Colorado Music Festival, Principal Cellist with Saskatoon Opera, and earning tenure as a member of the Vancouver Symphony. She is the founding cellist of the University of Saskatchewan Amati Quartet, the Black Pearl Alkemykal String Quartet and Prairie Virtuosi.
Ms. Russell is also an accomplished luthier and bowmaker, with a focus on restorations. She has studied the art of violin and bow making/restoration with Ole Stefan Dahl, Benjamin Ruth, Hans Nebel, Horst Klaus, Rodney Mohr and William Salchow. For over three decades Lahni has served musicians from beginners to professionals across Canada. Her clients have included the principal players of the Vancouver Symphony, Erica Raum (Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto), Lara St. John, and many string players of the Victoria, Regina and Saskatoon Symphonies.
In the tradition of her cello mentor, Janos Starker, Lahni considers teaching a fundamental aspect of performing. She has an avid interest in neuroscience and its applications to teaching, performance and being human.