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Last updated 18th April 2024


Bryn Harrison is a composer and Reader in Composition at the University of Huddersfield from where he obtained a doctorate in composition in 2007. He has developed a close working relationship with ensembles such as Plus Minus, Asamisimasa, Elision, Exaudi, Apartment House, Bozzini Quartet, Wet Ink as well as with soloists such as Philip Thomas, Mark Knoop and Aisha Orazbayeva. In addition, his pieces have been performed by many other established ensembles such as Ensemble Recherche, Klangforum Wien, London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra with notable performances and radio broadcasts from international festivals across the world.

As a composer, he has a long-held fascination with notions of musical time. Throughout his twenties and early thirties, he produced a steady output of solo and ensemble works, and in the process, developed an individual approach to dealing with time as a circular and repeating entity. Many of his subsequent works such as Surface Forms (repeating) (2009) operate at a speed and density that cannot be easily or immediately apprehended; they gradually draw the listener into an experience of the passage of time. More recently, he has continued to work with cyclical structures in a series of compositions of long duration that includes the 45-minute ensemble works Repetitions in Extended Time (2008) and Receiving the Approaching Memory (2014), and the 76-minute solo piano piece Vessels (2013). Over the past three years, his compositional research has focussed upon the ways in which memory operates in music. His hour-long Piano Quintet (2017) draws on a world of vanishings, recollections, apprehensions and remembrances. He is currently undertaking commissions from Wet Ink ensemble and ensemble Contrechamps, both to be premiered at major festivals in 2019.

He has co-authored two books: Overcoming Form: Reflections on Immersive Listening, (with Richard Glover) University of Huddersfield Press, 2013 and, with Jennie Gottschalk and Richard Glover; Being Time: Case Studies in Musical Temporality, Bloomsbury 2018. Bryn Harrison is a recipient of the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers.


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Composition
  • British and American Experimental Music
  • Issues of musical temporality


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