Mark Russell
(film composer)

How did you find your way into your current position?

My first job after York was working as a clerk in the BBC Radio 3 Music Library. I left the BBC to set up a small recording studio recording people's songs. Then I became a session keyboard player for pop groups. Then I got into writing music for TV Commercials, TV dramas and Films. I’ve been scoring for TV for 25 years now. In 1999 I was nominated for a BAFTA for my score to the ITV drama series 'Cold Feet'. In 2011 I was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for BBC1’s 'Leonardo' and in 2012 I received the RTS award for BBC2 'Best Of Men'.  In 1990 I started co-presenting 'Mixing It' on Radio 3. The series ran for 17 years. Now I work from my own recording studio in Oxford.

What are your strongest memories of your time at York?

York was a wonderful time of discovery for me. It introduced me to a world of new music, freedom and ideas. And it introduced me to many new people who I'm still in touch with. What I learned at York I've been using my whole career!

How did York prepare you for your career?

Many of my contemporaries at York went in to similar careers as me. I still see many of them and work with them. At York I developed a love of musical open-mindedness which was a central element of the Radio 3 show Mixing It which I hosted for many years.

What advice would you have for current students?

What I tell my own children - work hard at what you love. Also in music there's no set career path or single way of doing anything. You just have to follow it yourself and believe you can do it.

Mark Russell