B I O G R A P H Y
Charles Harrison combines a career as a solo and ensemble player with the post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chichester Cathedral, where he directs one of Britain's most highly respected choirs.
His love of organ and choral music began during his time as a cathedral chorister. In 1992, he became Organ Scholar of Jesus College Cambridge, where he obtained a degree in music and studied organ with David Sanger. During his second year at Cambridge, he was awarded prizes for his playing in the Fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Organists. Charles went on to win prizes at the international organ competitions at St Albans (1999) and Odense (2000), since when he has maintained a schedule of solo concerts in the UK and at international level. His concerto work has included performances with the Irish Chamber Orchestra directed by Stephen Cleobury (in the opening concert of the Belfast Festival), and the Ulster Orchestra conducted by John Lubbock. Both concerts were broadcast by the BBC. Charles Harrison has performed in many prestigious venues in Britain and Ireland, including Kings College Cambridge, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, The Royal Albert Hall (during the 2010 Proms season), Symphony Hall Birmingham, St David’s Hall Cardiff, the Ulster Hall and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Further afield, he has featured in recital series at Copenhagen Cathedral, Jesuskirke Copenhagen, Hooglandse Kerk Leiden, Grote Kerk Harderwijk, St Janskerk Gouda, Marktkirche Hannover, St Nicolai Kirche Lüneburg and St Bavo Catholic Cathedral Haarlem. With David Leigh, he has released a commercial recording of organ duets and arrangements.
As a continuo and orchestral keyboard player, Charles Harrison has worked with the Ulster Orchestra, the BBC Singers and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, performing frequently on Radio 3. In addition to his regular duties as a choral trainer and director at Chichester, he conducts performances of some of the great baroque oratorios with period-instrument groups (which have included Charivari Agréable). Charles’s organ students benefit from his broad stylistic knowledge and wide-ranging repertoire: some have won scholarships at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge; others have gone on to the top conservatoires in Britain and the USA.
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