While studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2006, saxophonist Nick Russoniello was on the hunt for a guitarist to try out Piazzolla’s ‘Histoire du Tango’. As luck would have it, Murilo Tanouye, from Brazil, was in the same year as Nicholas and agreed to give the piece a shot. Duo Histoire was born there and then and the award winning pair never looked back. Since then the duo has attracted the attention of audiences, appearing in festivals and giving concerts across the country. Recently the Duo has recorded for ABC Classic FM and Fine Music FM and appeared at the prestigious Sydney Opera House Utzon Room Concert Series. In 2017 Duo Histoire released their second album.
“Murilo has been fascinating to work with, he brings a very broad musical background to everything he plays,” Nicholas says.
“His earliest musical education was steeped in the Brazilian popular music tradition, the music of Baden Powell and Joao Gilberto. He then went on to study classical guitar at the conservatorium and now does a lot of work in funk and hip-hop bands, so I’ve certainly learnt a lot about groove and timing from this collaboration.” – Stephanie Eslake for Cut₵ommon Magazine
At 16 years of age, Murilo was awarded a full scholarship to study in the US and two years later he received another scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he successfully completed his Bachelor of Music Performance degree with First Class Honours under the tutelage of Gregory Pikler in 2007.
His performance career across Australia has been extensive and diverse, featuring recitals and concerts with a variety of ensembles and covering cities and regional areas in NSW, QLD, VIC and Tasmania. Performing highlights include an opening show with Civilians for the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ Australian tour at FOX Studios and a collaboration with Japanese drumming ensemble TaikOz. Murilo was composer for the Urban Fusion concert series toured Korea and Hong Kong with the award-winning dance company Legs on the Wall performing Symphony by theatre composer Stefan Gregory.
From a family of lawyers, Nick Russoniello eschewed the bar for a Masters in saxophone and decided to study classical saxophone, “The sax has such a deep and rich jazz, rock and pop tradition so I kind of wanted to explore what else it can do.” he says. “Even in high school I just felt much more at home playing the classical music, and then I guess I’ve kept it up out of curiosity.”
This unorthodox path led him to win the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Award in 2011 – making him only the second saxophone player to do so in the award’s 67-year history and puts him in the company of past winners like Simon Tedeschi, Roger Woodward, and the other saxophonist to win the award, Amy Dickson
Nick has appeared as a soloist with the Adelaide, Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and as a guest artist with many of the nation’s leading chamber music groups including the Acacia Quartet, Omega Ensemble and the Sydney Camerata Quartet and has performed with the Australian World Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Recent career highlights include performing at the Sydney Festival’s Symphony in the Domain as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in front of an estimated audience of 50,000, touring regional NSW with them and performing at the World Saxophone Congress (Scotland) with Continuum Sax and renown Dutch ensemble The Four Baritone, touring to Singapore with The Australian World Orchestra and completing a number of recordings and broadcasts for ABC Classic FM and Fine Music 102.5. In 2014 Nick released his debut solo album Between Worlds and undertook a national tour.