Early Music Skills & Interests
Viola, Viola D'Amore
Early Music Affiliations
A true 21st-century musician, American viola and viola d’amore player Clifton Harrison has forged a performing and recording career spanning a huge range of genres and embracing the creative potential of in-depth research. He studied at the Juilliard School and Royal Academy of Music and is the viola player in the acclaimed Kreutzer Quartet. He maintains an active freelance career working with many of the London orchestras, contemporary music groups, and early music ensembles. Clifton has appeared as guest principal viola with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, BBC Concert Orchestra, the Hanover Band, Irish Baroque Orchestra, and London Handel Orchestra.
Alongside his extensive classical recording catalogue, he can be heard on hundreds of television, film and album soundtracks. He has toured worldwide with countless classical ensembles as well as performed with popular artists as wide-ranging as Eric Clapton, Björk, Laura Mvula, the James Taylor Quartet, Michael Kiwanuka, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Thom Yorke, Dermot Kennedy, Jonny Greenwood, and Ellie Goulding. Clifton has been heard in festivals throughout the world, from the muddy fields of Glastonbury to the EFG London Jazz Festival, Ghent Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, and London’s BBC Proms. He has a strong passion for educating the next generation. He has recently given lectures and masterclasses at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Vanderbilt University (USA), Royal Academy of Music (UK), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) International Conference 2023 in Cardiff Wales. He is also a viola tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Nicola Benedetti’s Benedetti Foundation.
Recent album releases are on the Hyperion, Universal Music, Sony, NAXOS, Warner Music, Navona Records, NMC Records, Métier, and Signum Classics labels.
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