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Ed Harrison
Ed Harrison
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Chicago Lyric Opera
  • Country: United States

Ed Harrison is a member of the percussion section of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a member of the Gershwin/Bernstein Ensemble of the Chicago Symphony Ensembles program. He has just performed as soloist in the world premiere of Pataruco: Concerto for Maracas, a composition written for him by Ricardo Lorenz. This piece makes history as the first piece ever written for a maraca player as soloist with symphony orchestra.

Ed was Principal Percussionist of the Chicago Sinfonietta from 1994 to 1998. He has been featured as a soloist at the Percussive Arts Society (P.A.S.) International Convention and at P.A.S. Day of Percussion events in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey. He has presented master classes at the Royal College of Music in London, the Royal Northern College of Music, Welsh College of Music and Drama, Rotterdam Conservatory, Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, New England Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory and other music schools throughout the United States and Europe. He has been featured as soloist with the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Caracas Philharmonic. Ed performs as an extra percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He has performed with a wide variety of artists ranging from Piette Boulez and Leonard Bernstein to Paquito, Rivera and McCoy Tyner.

Ed has recorded for Deutsche Grammaphon, London/Decca, Pro Arte/Fanfare, Delmark, Cedille, 415 Records and others. He has done radio and television performances for Nova (Public Broadcasting Systems), Metromedia, National Public Radio, WFMT Chicago, WGBH Boston, and has published articles with Modern Drummer and Percussive Notes magazines.

Ed has a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Vic Firth. In 1983, he received a Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to attend the Tanglewood Music Center and returned in 1984 by invitation of the artistic directors. Ed is a member of the faculty of DePaul University and Birch Creek World Percussion Camp.

Ed uses a 15" prototype, 17" and 18" special selections, and 20" K Constantinoples orchestral pairs. In addition, he uses 15", 16", 17", 18" and 20" K Constantinople suspended cymbals when playing with live orchestras. For close miked recording sessions, he sometimes uses 18" and 20" medium heavy A's. As supended cymbals with this set up, he uses 14", 15", and 16" K Thin Dark Crashes. He also has a pair of 16" medium heavy A's that work with either set up.

"I love my Zildjians!"

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