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(1917 - 2003)

Born in Portland in 1917, the American composer Lou Harrison won a particular reputation for his percussion music, his experiments in intonation, and his synthesis of East and West in his music. A pupil and friend of Henry Cowell, whose interest in other musical traditions he shared, he also profited from a close study of the work of Charles Ives. He collaborated with John Cage in San Francisco, studied under Schoenberg in Los Angeles, wrote under Virgil Thomson in New York, continuing a varied career and the development of his many gifts as a poet, artist and musician.

Orchestral and Instrumental Music

Lou Harrison’s compositions include four symphonies, but the greater part of his work lies in a wide variety of compositions for Western and Eastern instruments, notably, in the latter case, for the gamelan, with which he experimented in later years. His Suite for Symphonic Strings, with its opening Estampie and allusive classical movement titles is characteristic of the breadth of his cultural and musical grasp.

Vocal Music

Harrison’s varied compositions for voices include his Strict Songs for eight baritones and chamber orchestra, completed in 1955.

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
Chamber Music - FRANK, G.L. / HARRISON, L. / EVANGELISTA, J. / VALI, R. / KATS-CHERNIN, E. (Zia) (Del Sol String Quartet) Dorian Sono Luminus
Chamber Music
Choral Music (Pacific) - HARRISON, L. / EDWARDS, R. / BODY, J. / LAWRENCE-KING, A. / BOYD, A. (A Bridge of Dreams) (Ars Nova Copenhagen, Hillier) Ars Nova
Choral - Sacred
Concertos (American) - LEES, B. / STARER, R. / KUPFERMAN, M. / COLGRASS, M. / HARRISON, L. (Ricci, Berger, C. Glenn, Statkiewicz, Snashall, Kapp) Vox Box
HARRISON, L.: Homage to Lou Harrison (A), Vol. 1 - Violin Concerto / Suite for Percussion / Concerto in slendro / Canticles Nos. 1 and 3 / Fugue Dynamic
Concerto, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Concerto
HARRISON, L.: Homage to Lou Harrison (A), Vol. 2 - The Clay's Quintet / Rhymes with Silver / The Perilous Chapel / Ariadne / Bomba Dynamic
Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Concerto
HARRISON, L.: Homage to Lou Harrison (A), Vol. 3 - In Praise of Johnny Appleseed / Music for Violin with Various Instruments / Labyrinth No. 3 Dynamic
Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Ballet
HARRISON, L.: Homage to Lou Harrison (A), Vol. 4 - Air for the Poet / Organ Concerto / May Rain / Varied Trio / Elegy / Fifth Simfony Dynamic
Concerto, Vocal, Chamber Music, Orchestral, Chamber Music
HARRISON, L.: Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra / WEBER, B.: Symphony on Poems of William Blake (Stokowski) (1952) Naxos Classical Archives
HARRISON, L.: Violin Concerto / Grand Duo / Double Music (Fain, Boriskin, PostClassical Ensemble, Gil-Ordóñez) Naxos
Chamber Music, Concerto, Chamber Music
HARRISON: Suite for Symphonic Strings / Strict Songs for Eight Baritones First Edition
Choral - Secular, Orchestral
Percussion Music - REICH, S. / HARRISON, L.S. / WHITACRE, E. / TYWONIUK, D. / RAVEL, M. (Smoke and Mirrors Percussion Ensemble) Yarlung Records
Chamber Music
Percussion Music - ROLDAN, A. / HARRISON, L. / RUSSELL, W. / COWELL, H. / CAGE, J. (Concert Percussion for Orchestra) (1961) Naxos Classical Archives
Chamber Music
Piano Recital: Downes, Lara - GOULD, M. / HARRISON, L. / BEACH, A. / BLOCH, E. / GERSHWIN, G. / BERNSTEIN, L. / BERLIN, I. (America Again) Dorian Sono Luminus
Violin Recital: Koh, Jennifer - HIGDON, J. / HARRISON, L. / ADAMS, J. / RUGGLES, C. (String Poetic) Cedille
Chamber Music
Vocal and Chamber Music - BOWLES, P. / HARRISON, L. / CAGE, J. (Composer-Critics of the New York Herald Tribune) (Barab, L. Lawrence, C. Bussotti) Other Minds
Chamber Music
Yarlung Records - The First Seven Years Yarlung Records
Chamber Music
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

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