Russell Hill Rogers
Russell Hill Rogers, a San Antonio businessman, philanthropist and patron of the arts, had a long association with the arts in San Antonio. While in high school, he was the concertmaster of the San Antonio Youth Symphony, and at the age of 17 was chosen to be in the violin section of San Antonio ’s first Symphony Orchestra founded by Max Reiter in 1939.
For over 40 years he was active in most of San Antonio’s arts organizations, serving on the Boards of the San Antonio Symphony Society, the San Antonio Museum of Art and on the council of the McNay Art Museum . He was also a member of the Texas Watercolor Society and sang with the Symphony Mastersingers for a time, including the period during which they served as the opera chorus for the touring Metropolitan Opera productions presented annually in San Antonio from the 1940s to the 1960s.
In 1979, a gift to the San Antonio Symphony from Mr. Rogers established the Annual Russell Hill Rogers String Residency, providing local string players of all ages with a unique opportunity to work with internationally renowned artists. Last season, that string masterclass was given by violinist Vadim Gluzman. Mr. Gluzman will be one of the three Symphony guest artists in the Brahms Festival. In March 2013 the String Residency artist will be Cho-Liang Lin.
Shortly before his death in 1986, Mr. Rogers established the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts for the “support, encouragement, and preservation of the creative and performing arts including, but not limited to painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature and drama.” Its specific purpose is to benefit arts organizations and provide arts offerings available to residents of Bexar County.
In 1979, violinist Franco Gulli gave the first Russell Hill Rogers Master Class and thanks to the generosity and vision of Russell Hill Rogers, since then over one hundred different San Antonio musicians have had this unique opportunity to work with and learn from some of the greatest string artists in the world. In addition, countless lives have been enriched by their exposure to the music of these world-class guest artists during their performances with the San Antonio Symphony.
The San Antonio Symphony Board, Musicians and Staff are grateful to The Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts for their generous sponsorship of the 2013 Brahms Festival.