Sadie Harrison

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Sadie Harrison

3 performances.

Forthcoming Performances
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Past Performances

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List of Works
This list of works is taken from the records of concert details listed in our concerts section. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but serves as a useful link to recent performances of this composer's work.

Sadie Harrison Biography

Sadie Harrison is an internationally renowned composer considered to be one of foremost of her generation. Working regularly to commission, her music is performed and broadcast across the globe by many of the world’s leading ensembles and soloists, with works released to critical acclaim on Naxos, NMC, Prima Facie, Cadenza, Sargasso, Toccata Classics, BML, Divine Art/Metier, and Clarinet Classics. For several years, Sadie also pursued a secondary career as an archaeologist and reflecting her interest in the past, many of her compositions have been inspired by the traditional musics of old and extant cultures with cycles of pieces based on the folk music of Afghanistan, Lithuania, the Isle of Skye, the Northern Caucasus and the UK. She is also well known for socio-political aspects of music-making with several works challenging stereotypes of marginalised peoples - refugees, Afghan women, the deaf, the homeless - celebrating their creativity and individuality with powerful expressions of musical solidarity.

Her focus during 2015-16 was on the ground-breaking collaborative project Gulistan-e Nur: The Rosegarden of Light, working with US Ensemble Cuatro Puntos (with whom she is currently Composer- in-Residence) and students from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (where she is currently Composer-in-Association). The project resulted in several commissions, a US tour (2015 in Boston, Massachusetts, Connecticut) a European tour (2016 in York, Brighton, Swanage, London, Shaftesbury, Berlin, Amsterdam), and The Rosegarden of Light CD (Toccata Classics/Naxos) released in 2016 to great critical acclaim. BBC3 Record Review described the disc as ‘moving and intriguing’, and MusicWeb International as ‘engaging, mysterious, delightfully pointed dances.’ The project was supported by two Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, a PRSF Women Make Music Award, and grants from RVW, Hinrichsen, New Music USA and the Ambache Charitable Trust in acknowledgement of the unique nature of the project which brought together music and musicians from three continents.

Sadie’s recent symphonic work for the Afghanistan Women’s Orchestra (Ensemble Zohra) - Sapida-Dam-Nau (supported by a Finzi Trust Scholarship) was premiered at the Closing Concert of the World Economic Forum, Davos in January 2017 with subsequent performances in Geneva, Weimar and Berlin. She was also appointed as Visiting Fellow to Goldsmiths College, London in recognition of her unique compositional research work on Afghanistan.

2016-17 saw the release of 4 CDs (Naxos-Toccata Classics, Divine Art and Prima Facie) with superb reviews:
Observer: ‘disc of glittering intensity’
BBC Music Magazine: ‘beautiful and intriguing’
Fanfare: ’a special, fragile space’
5:4: 'daringly wild...positively feral..utterly amazing’
Composition Today: ‘a riot of sound..a great shout of joy’
Gramophone: ‘ecstatic and ominous expression…increasingly intoxicating’
International Piano Magazine: ‘ important disc’
The Strad: ‘blistering richness’

Sadie was appointed as the first Composer-in-Residence at the Bei Wu Sculpture Park, Wesenberg, Germany in 2017 supported by an Arts Council England/British Council International Development Grant and a PRSF Composer’s Fund Award. Through 2017-2018 she will write a number of works for Concerto Brandenburg Berlin including a symphonic work, solo works for Baroque violin, and mimih for chamber ensemble to be premiered at the inauguration of the Park’s Indigenous Australian Sculpture Gallery in association with the Australia Now Festival.

Her 2018 commissions include:
Coretta (marking 50th anniversary of ML King’s assassination): NMSW Trio/Michelle Ezigbo, Bristol, March 2018
My Hazara People for voice and string orchestra: Orchestra of St. Johns, Oxford, May 2018
The First Song for orchestra: Concerto Brandenberg, Bei Wu Sculpturepark, Wesenberg, Germany: June 2018
Cantare et trepidare for singing violist: Katherine Clarke, London, November 2018
Seven Angels for baroque violin and truhenorgel: Luneberg, Germany: March 2018

Sadie’s music is published by UYMP, ABRSM and Recital Music with works on ABRSM and Trinity examination board repertoire lists. She is a member of the British Music Collection’s Steering Group, the UK’s primary body for the curation and publicising of contemporary British composers and repertoire. She is also a composition mentor with the South West Music School (UK) and tutor with New Music South West (UK).

Sadie’s personal website is:

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Sheet music by Sadie Harrison