Title: Adjunct Associate Professor of Composition
Office: ... Corbett Cntr Perform Arts
Born and raised in Streator, Illinois, Ellen Ruth Harrison received her doctorate in composition from the University of California, Berkeley, where her teachers included Edwin Dugger, Richard Felciano, Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson. Supported by U.C. Berkeley's George Ladd Prix de Paris, she spent two years studying in Paris, also attending composer workshops at IRCAM. In addition she has studied with Milko Kelemen at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, with Thomas Frederickson and Paul Zonn at the University of Illinois and with Bernard Rands and Jacob Druckman at the Aspen Music Festival.
Penned for instrumental and vocal ensembles of various sizes, Harrison's compositions have been inspired by diverse experiences and circumstances. Echoing her evocatively titled movements, her music at times seems to dip into distant and antique sonic realms to portray a series of contrasting moods and atmospheres. At other times the tone is more jocular as she juxtaposes impetuous activity with infernal calm at multiple levels, presenting an extraordinary variety of textures, melodic materials and expressive gestures. Melody figures prominently in Harrison’s work, as do intricate textures and a wide variety of instrumental colors.
Harrison's music has been performed in both the United States and Europe. In Cincinnati she has had performances by the Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players, Cincinnati Camerata, concert:nova, the Amicus String Quartet and the Linton Chamber Music Series. She has received three Individual Artist Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and commissions from the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, concert:nova, David Schneider and Dorothea Riehm. Her works have received awards from the American Guild of Organists, the IBLA International Music Foundation, the Rebecca Clarke Society, Spectri Sonori and the International League of Women Composers. For more information on Dr. Harrison, please see EllenRuthHarrison.com.