Remembering A Talented South Milwaukee Musician

Nicolas Sluss-Rodionov, the chorus manager and operations assistant for the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, has died from injuries sustained in a car accident last week.

The South Milwaukee High School graduate left quite a mark.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story

“The chorus is grieving mightily. He was just a remarkable young man,” said Jackie Drummer, who knew Sluss-Rodionov when he was a kid and encouraged him to apply to the music program at Carthage College in Kenosha.

Sluss-Rodionov had been a member of the MSO Chorus’ professional core since 2006 and four years ago was hired full time as operations assistant for the symphony, organizing and planning concerts. As chorus manager he coordinated auditions, handled seating on stage, managed the schedule and made sure the chorus had the correct music.

“Which is a unique skill to be able to juggle all that. Everyone was incredibly fond of him,” said MSO executive director Mark Niehaus. “He was always jovial and happy and he was always buzzing, he had a buzzing energy about him.”

Sluss-Rodionov didn’t start out as a singer. He played piano and French horn at South Milwaukee High School. When he graduated in 2000, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do until Drummer encouraged him to apply to Carthage. Sluss-Rodionov was part of a group of kids that hung out at Drummer’s house with her children. After a great audition on piano and French horn, Sluss-Rodionov was accepted into Carthage’s music program. …

Sluss-Rodionov was organist, vocal soloist and choir section leader at First Congregational Church in Wauwatosa. He performed with numerous musical ensembles including the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto Chorus, Master Singers of Milwaukee, Present Music and the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale.

For the MSO Chorus, Sluss-Rodionov was known for starting his announcements at rehearsals with a joke, often beginning with a quip at the expense of the sopranos and working his way through the sections. When the chorus performed “Alexander Nevsky,” his father brought a large pot of borscht to feed the singers rehearsing the Russian musical piece. A few weeks ago, Sluss-Rodionov wore a green mustache during rehearsal in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Please keep Nicolas’ family and friends in your prayers. And post your memories below.

1 Comment

Filed under South Milwaukee

One response to “Remembering A Talented South Milwaukee Musician

  1. Nic was a fantastic person. I have great memories from high school; sitting next to him in band, theatre productions, Lakeshore Wind Symphony rehearsal. An extremely talented musician and an even better man. He will be missed.

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