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. Combining traditional techniques, baroque virtuosity and an enormous knowledge of mediaeval music sources he has developed a new style, 'set new standards', and become Europe's leading improviser on shawm, bagpipes and cornett - mediaeval and renaissance wind instruments. The international press has named him 'the Miles Davis of Early Music'. He is a specialist for historical improvisation and composer in many historical and traditional styles. He teaches mediaeval and renaissance wind music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and has given lectures and masterclasses throughout Europe and North America.  His activities 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, improvisational and virtuosic scills 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”
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG


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


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


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


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


“...the Miles Davis of the Early Music scene”
EARLY MUSIC REVIEW