About Thompson and Russell

Emily & Richard in Times Square

Emily & Richard in Times Square

Thompson and Russell | The Collaboration

Called “… one of the leading teams of writers of theatre for young audiences” by BroadwayWorld.com, Thompson and Russell is Emily Clare Thompson, book and lyrics, and Richard D. Russell, music. Both are ASCAPplus award winners for their collaborative efforts. They met in  1999 at Mannes College of Music. Richard worked in the school’s administration and Emily’s mother, Marian Thompson, worked as a voice teacher.

Marian Thompson was strongly influential in developing this collaboration. Both Emily and Richard are lifelong fans of musical theater. Marian recognized Richard’s talents as a composer would be a good fit for Emily’s writing projects. Soon, Emily invited Richard to compose original music for some of her original Shakespeare adaptations. (These musicals can be found on this website by clicking here.)

To develop their collaboration, Emily and Richard participated in musical theater writing courses and workshops at ASCAP and at the New School University. Emily decided to try her hand at writing an original story (as opposed to an adaptation), and To A Muse was born. It was a great success, and the pair followed up with Cupid’s Bow. Continuing in the realm of myth and fantasy, the team decided to tackle the legend of King Arthur next, creating A Knight At The Round Table.

To date, Thompson & Russell have written seven original musicals. These musicals can be found by clicking here.)

Emily Clare Thompson


Emily Clare Thompson, trained at Mannes College of Music since a child, has appeared in countless choral groups, operas, concerts, and theater performances since age five, with professionals such as Andy Williams and her mother and primary teacher, soprano Marian Thompson. As a soprano, Emily has performed regularly with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, premiered works by contemporary composers, and performed classics from the standard repertoire. In addition to performance, Emily has produced and directed classical repertoire and written book and lyrics for seven produced musicals with composer Richard D. Russell. She is the founder executive director of In Mid Air Productions. Emily graduated from Smith College with a BA with high honors in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing and Literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is grateful for the support of her family.

Richard D. Russell

Richard D. Russell

Richard D. Russell

A multi-year ASCAPplus win­ner, Richard D. Rus­sell’s music has been per­formed inter­na­tion­ally and at promi­nent venues in New York. High­lights include a Sep­tem­ber 11, 2002 memo­r­ial per­for­mance of “Remem­brances” at Merkin Con­cert Hall, and a per­for­mance of “Design for Light­ning” by trom­bon­ist Haim Avit­sur in Israel. As well, his music has been per­formed in Bul­garia and Japan. In New York, some venues have included Sym­phony Space Thalia, CAMI Hall, the Eth­i­cal Cul­ture Soci­ety, and Mannes Col­lege of Music.

Richard has been com­mis­sioned twice by the esteemed musi­col­o­gist Lawrence Kramer. First, in 2010, a song cycle for Ford­ham University’s “Poets Out Loud” fac­ulty group (with texts by Elisabeth Frost); sec­ond, in 2011, a solo piano com­po­si­tion per­formed in con­junc­tion with a two-day sem­i­nar spon­sored by the jour­nal, 19th-Century Music.

A life­long lover of music, Richard heard Beethoven’s “Moon­light Sonata” at age 13 and soon began his for­mal piano stud­ies. Shortly there­after he began com­pos­ing. Over the years he has also stud­ied gui­tar, trum­pet, vio­lin, and per­cus­sion. He earned his BA in Music Com­po­si­tion from Black­burn Col­lege (Illi­nois), grad­u­at­ing magna cum laude, and earned his Mas­ters at SUNY Empire State. He has pre­sented lec­tures on the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary nature of cre­ativ­ity at Mannes Col­lege of Music, to the New York Com­posers Cir­cle, and to the East Hanover School Dis­trict (NJ).

Richard Rus­sell has been active in the New York Com­posers Cir­cle for sev­eral years, hav­ing served on its Steer­ing Com­mit­tee and act­ing as Man­ag­ing Direc­tor. Cur­rently, he acts as the NYCC web­mas­ter and In The Loop newslet­ter edi­tor. He is also the artis­tic con­sul­tant for In Mid Air Pro­duc­tions, which has pre­sented sev­eral of Richard’s pieces.

Richard Russell’s music is pub­lished by Design for Light­ning Music (ASCAP).

Thompson & Russell Memorabilia

Thompson & Russell Memorabilia


  1. Proud of your accomplishments and ability to collaborate with such success.

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