CLIFTON HARRISON | Artistic Director
Described by the Chicago Tribune as “the one to watch,” violist Clifton Harrison has performed as a chamber musician and in recital throughout the United States, Central America, Asia, and Europe. In America, he has performed concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Zipper Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and Symphony Center (Chicago). In London, Clifton has been heard in all the major concert venues including the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, and London's Southbank Centre.
He has performed as a soloist with leading orchestras in the Americas and has performed as soloist in Europe under Sir Mark Elder and with the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra.
Clifton has extensive training and experience in multiple genres of music. Alongside his work in the classical field, Clifton has recorded and toured with international hip-hop, soul, gospel, rock, jazz, blues, and Latin artists as a violinist and viola player. He also has an interest in historical performance and performs regularly on baroque and classical viola with some of the most influential artists in the field.
Recently, Clifton presented concerts in Denmark and Austria and recitals in New York and Chicago along with débuts at Kings Place and the Malta Music Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Clifton’s 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 (New York). He is the former principal viola of the Mexico City Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfónica UANL in Monterrey Mexico.
In the UK, Clifton has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, English National Ballet, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rambert Dance Company, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is the violist in the acclaimed Kreutzer Quartet and London's Octandre Ensemble. As a member of the Kreutzers, Clifton is Artist in Residence at Goldsmiths University, University of Southampton, and University of York. Recent releases are on the Universal Music, Sony, NAXOS and Signum Classics labels.
Clifton won the prestigious C.S. Lewin Grant to study viola with Heidi Castleman and Karen Tuttle and violin with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. He earned a master’s degree (with distinction) at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Yuko Inoue and Jane Rogers (baroque). Whilst at the Academy, Clifton won the Gibson and Bache prizes and was awarded a DipRAM for an outstanding final recital.
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