Ian Harrison grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England, the last corner of that country to have retained its own type of bagpipe.  He began his musical carreer as a Lay Clerk in the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral.  He completed an MA in Music at the City University, London and went on to study at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.  In 1993 he and Gesine Bänfer founded the ensemble Les Haulz et les Bas, specialising in mediaeval and Renaissance wind music.  They won the Radio Prize at the Bruges Festival and have brought their wild, improvisatory, empassioned sound to countless concert halls and radio broadcasts and to 5 highly-acclaimed CDs.  In addition Ian Harrison won First Prize in the International Bagpipe Competition at St. Chartier (France) and prizes in the categories 'best wind instrumentalist' and 'best folk-rock group' with Contraband in the German Pop and Rock Awards 2007. He is a specialist for historical improvisation and composer in many historical and traditional styles. He teaches mediaeval and renaissance wind music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and has given lectures and masterclasses throughout Europe and North America.  His activities as guest soloist with many leading groups and orchestras including The Harp Consort, Ensemble Sarband, The New London Consort, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and the Metropole Orchestra, Hilversum, has taken him round the world.

“Ian Harrison's shawm playing reached extatic heights of virtuosity”
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG
  
“Ian Harrison's playing proved that the virtuosity of the shawm is
nothing less than that of modern instruments”
REUTLINGER NACHRICHTEN
  
“Ian Harrison and his Ensemble Les haulz et les bas set new standards of shawm playing“
SCOTTISH EARLY MUSIC FORUM
 
“Ian Harrison reached some otherworldly sounds on the cornett ... breathtaking.”
BEIRUT DAILY STAR
 
“For the full range of what's possible on the shawm listen to Ian Harrison
of Les haulz et les bas »
EARLY MUSIC TODAY
 
“...the Miles Davis of the Early Music scene”
EARLY MUSIC REVIEW

 
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