Caitlin Harrison is a composer, teacher, and performer based in Oxford. She learnt piano from a young age, when growing up in the fens of Lincolnshire, before taking up singing and the harp. Harrison began her formal music education at the age of sixteen at Birmingham Junior Conservatoire as their first primary study composition student where she studied for two years under Lee Differ. She subsequently took part in the Sound and Music Summer School in 2011 and 2013, working with freelance professional musicians and composition teachers from the Purcell School of Music and Royal Northern College of Music. She was a composer for the BBC Stream of Sound project in 2012 where she composed and performed with members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a concert in the Barbican Centre. Harrison was shortlisted for the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra’s Emerging Composers Competition 2020 and the NCEM Young Composers Competition 2020.
In July 2018 Harrison finished her undergraduate studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she was mentored by Deirdre Gribbin and Stephen Montague. She completed an Erasmus exchange to the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland, from September 2016 until the end of January 2017 where she studied with renowned Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze. Her degree ended with the premiere of Violin concerto for chamber orchestra, performed by Ben Richardson and conducted by Jonathan Mann, along with the screening of her art film Noise. Harrison began studying for an MPhil in composition at the University of Oxford under head of composition, Professor Robert Saxton, in October 2019. She has since had works premiered by Exeter College Chapel Choir and Ensemble ISIS at the Holywell Music Room. Her first year ended with the composition of a twenty-minute long song cycle where she set twelve Sappho fragments in Ancient Greek for soprano, clarinet, cello and piano.
Harrison is an ambitious composer who enjoys new and innovative projects. Her work includes blindfolding performers, filming in an old Jewish ghetto and recording dancers in a swimming pool. Her works are written for a variety of forces, from large orchestras and choirs to smaller, solo pieces and chamber works. As a keen performance artist, Harrison loves delving into the world of performance and meaning within her work, creating something new and exciting for both the performer and audience. Recent commissions include pieces for the choir of St Wulfram’s (Grantham) and Exeter College Chapel Choir (Oxford).
Harrison is also an accomplished solo and ensemble singer, having studied voice as a secondary practice during her time at Trinity Laban under Joan Rodgers C.B.E. She was a choral scholar at St Margaret’s, Lee before moving to Oxford and joining both Exeter College Chapel Choir and St Hilda’s College Choir. Harrison currently receives vocal tuition from Carris Jones, the first female alto at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Harrison has performed in venues such as St Martin-in-the-Felids, Barbican Centre, Kings Place, St John Smith’s Square, Peterborough Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral, Blackheath Halls, Christchurch College Oxford, Exeter College Oxford, The Jacqueline Du Pre Concert Hall (Oxford), and venues in and around Florence, Italy.