Ian Harrison

grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England, the last corner of that country to have retained its own type of bagpipe.  He began his musical carreer as a Lay Clerk in the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral.  He completed an MA in Music at the City University, London and went on to study at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. He is founder-member of  the ensemble for medieval and renaissance wind music Les haulz et les bas and of the ensemble for traditional music from historical sources The Early Folk Band. Combining traditional techniques, baroque virtuosity and an enormous knowledge of medieval music sources he has developed a new style, 'set new standards', and become one of Europe's leading improvisers on shawm, bagpipes and cornett. The international press has named him 'the Miles Davis of Early Music'. He is a composer in many historical and traditional styles, teaches mediaeval and renaissance wind music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and has given lectures and masterclasses throughout Europe and North America.  His activities with his own ensembles and as guest soloist with many leading groups and orchestras including The Harp Consort, Ensemble Sarband, The New London Consort, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Metropole Orchestra, Hilversum, have taken him round the world. His original, virtuosic and improvisational skills have earned him prizes at the Bruges Early Music Festival, the Rencontres des Maitres Sonneurs, St. Chartier and the German Pop and Rock Awards.

“Ian Harrison's shawm playing reached extatic heights of virtuosity”

  “Ian Harrison's playing proved that the virtuosity of the shawm is nothing less than that of modern instruments”

   “Ian Harrison and his Ensemble Les haulz et les bas set new standards of shawm playing“

  “Ian Harrison reached some otherworldly sounds on the cornett ... breathtaking.”

  “For the full range of what's possible on the shawm listen to Ian Harrison of Les haulz et les bas"

“...the Miles Davis of the Early Music scene”

"We all know that Ian Harrison is brilliant"


Go no more a-rushing: Gesine Bänfer and Ian Harrison

The Early Folk Duo - Gesine and Ian - play and sing the riddle song, 'Go no more a rushing'.  The text goes back to the 14th century and this tune is found in English keyboard manuscripts from the early 17th century. The arrangement is by Gesine and the diminutions by Ian.

Stella Splendens - Hirundo Maris feat. Ian, Zink

Zusammen mit Arianna Savall, Petter Johansen, Gesine Bänfer und special Guest Pilar Figueras in einer besonders meditativen Version des Pilgerlieds aus dem Llibre Vermell de Montserrat.   Aufgenommen am 5.6.2020.

Video-Clip zu Ostern in der Barockkirche, St. Peter feat. Ian, Zink

Als Christen Ostern ohne Gottesdienste zelebrieren mussten.   Aufgenommen am 1.4.2020

Ave Maria I say: Ian Harrison, Miriam Andersén und Susanne Ansorg

Das exquisite anonyme englische Lied aus dem 14. Jhdt. gespielt im Aachener Dom auf den Instrumenten in den Händern der Engeln in der Chorhalle.

The Early Folk Band: Robin Hood and Little John mit Ian Harrison - Zink

  1. Robin Hood and Little John

Madame d'amours: Musica Antiqua of London feat. Ian Harrison - Zink

  1. Madame d'amours

Gautier de Coincy: Douce Dame: The Harp Consort feat. Ian Harrison, Zink

  1. Gautier de Coincy - Douce Dame

Ubi caritas: Osnabrücker Jugendchor mit Improvisationen von Ian Harrison - Zink

  1. Ubi caritas

Ian Harrison mit dem Ensemble Oni Wytars "1600 - music at the court of Naples"