CLIFTON HARRISON | Artistic Director
Viola and viola d’amore player Clifton Harrison has performed as a chamber musician and recitalist throughout the United States, Central America, Asia, and Europe. He has been heard in concert in China, South Korea, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, and France along with recitals in London, New York, Chicago, and Malta. He is the viola player in the Kreutzer Quartet.
The Kreutzer Quartet has forged an enviable reputation as one of Europe’s most dynamic and innovative string quartets. They regularly appear at many of the leading Festivals, including the Venice Biennale and Warsaw Autumn. They are the dedicatees of numerous works, and over many years have established creative partnerships with composers including Sir Michael Tippett, David Matthews, Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir, Luca Francesconi, Poul Ruders and Haflidi Hallgrimsson. They have a particularly strong relationship to a cross-section of leading American composers, having collaborated intensively with the great George Rochberg in the last few years of his life, as well as working closely with figures such as Elliott Schwartz, and the prolific symphonist Gloria Coates. As recording artists, they have won critical acclaim for their discs on the Naxos, Métier, Tzadik, Toccata and NMC labels. Their work in collaboration with art galleries has garnered much attention, and large audiences. They are currently Ensemble in Residence at Goldsmiths – University of London, and at Wilton’s Music Hall.
The members of the Kreutzer Quartet are Peter Sheppard Skærved, Mihailo Trandafilovski (violins), Clifton Harrison (viola), and Neil Heyde (violoncello).
Parallel to his duties as violist in the Kreutzer Quartet, Clifton has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the Americas and has appeared as a soloist in the UK and Europe under Sir Mark Elder and with the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra. He has given masterclasses and workshops throughout the UK, USA, and Asia. An avid freelance viola player, Clifton has worked with many ensembles in the UK including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, English National Ballet, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rambert Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and most of London’s period performance ensembles. He can often be seen playing principal viola in London’s Chineke! Orchestra.
With extensive training and experience in multiple genres of music alongside his work in the classical field, Clifton has recorded and toured with international artists like Björk, Jeff Lynne's ELO, and at the London Jazz Festival. He has made appearances at nearly all the major summer music festivals in Europe.
Clifton studied violin and viola at the Julliard School with Dorothy Delay and Karen Tuttle and at the Royal Academy of Music with Yuko Inoue and Jane Rogers (baroque).
His professional orchestral career began at the age of nineteen as a member of the New Jersey Symphony (USA), he then joined the pit orchestra of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway (violin) and later the Orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Before moving to London, Clifton spent four years as principal viola of the Mexico City Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfónica UANL in Monterrey Mexico.
Recent releases are on the Hyperion, Universal Music, Sony, NAXOS, Navona Records, NMC Records, Métier, and Signum Classics labels.
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