Initially self-taught as a pianist, Mr. Harrison began his formal study of the piano with pianist Val Stanley of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, in 1992. In 1994 he continued his study with the late Dr. Ralph Hill of Pittsburgh, PA. During this time period Mr. Harrison also performed with the Sewickley Academy Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, played as a student accompanist for the High School Chorus, accompanied voice lessons, and frequently performed as both a soloist and a chamber musician.
In 1996 Mr. Harrison began to study at Carnegie Mellon University, where his teacher was Ralph Zitterbart. In addition to his individual study with Mr. Zitterbart, Mr. Harrison also studied pedagogy with Hanna Wu Li and literature and repertoire with Earl Wild. Mr. Harrison has attended and performed in Masterclasses with artists including Earl Wild, Ilana Vered, Enrique Graf, and Sergey Schepkin.
Mr. Harrison has performed under the batons of Maestros Nizan Leibovich, Walter Morales and Brian Garman. In 2003 Mr. Harrison was the piano soloist in a performance of Hindemuth’s Kammermusik #1 with the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble. He has collaborated with clarinetist Dana Howell and pianist Wan Ni Sui; Mr. Harrison is an advocate of quality contemporary music, and has premiered several new works by talented young composers, including ongoing collaborations with Ovre’Arts, Pittsburgh’s premier new music organization. In September of 2012 Mr. Harrison participated in the world premieres of “The Alkonost” and “Infinity,” two wonderful new ballets composed by Ovre’Arts co-founders Luke Mayernik and Blake Ragghianti, and choreographed and performed by Texture Contemporary Ballet and The Pillow Project.
From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Harrison taught both group class and individual piano lessons at the Preparatory School at the CMU School of Music. From 2006 until 2013 he taught piano at a local Urban music program based in the East End of Pittsburgh, while continuing to perform both locally and internationally. At the end of 2013 he took a leave of absence from teaching at the Judah Project in favor of teaching privately from his home in order to be able to spend more time with his family.
Mr. Harrison has performed in such US cities as Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, and Atlanta, and has performed overseas in Hong Kong. In 2014 he will revisit Atlanta and will also visit Florida. He is also in the process of recording tracks for his first album, which he hopes to complete and release by early 2015.
Mr. Harrison lives with his wife and son in the North Pittsburgh suburb of Hampton Township.