Holly Harrison is a young Australian composer from Western Sydney. Holly’s music is driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock, and whimsical humour.
Holly’s work Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup featured on Eighth Blackbird’s (USA) Australian tour as part of Musica Viva’s 2017 International Concert Season. The tour included performances by the four-time Grammy award-winning group at Perth International Arts Festival and Adelaide Festival. Eighth Blackbird’s performance was later awarded Performance of the Year at the 2018 Art Music Awards. Holly’s recent projects have included a concertino for bassoon and string quartet for Matthew Kneale and Omega Ensemble, a sextet for Sydney new music champions Ensemble Offspring, a children's work for the Canberra International Music Festival, two new works for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the set string quartet work, Balderdash, for the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. She is currently writing a new work for the Monash Academy Orchestra and a viola concertino for Stefanie Farrands and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Holly was the inaugural winner of the 2017 Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize, awarded to an Australian female composer, for her work Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup. Earlier in the year, she was announced as a winner of Nu Deco Ensemble's 2018 Nu Works initiative. Holly was awarded first place at the 2014 Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, for Cabbages and Kings, and in 2013 was the winner of the inaugural Pyeongchon Arts Hall International Chamber Music Composition Competition (South Korea) with Red Queen, White Queen, Alice and All. She was a resident composer at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival (USA) with Alarm Will Sound, and was one of two winners of The Riot Ensemble's (UK) 2014 Call for Scores.
Her works have been performed at festivals including Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014/2016 (NL), November Music (NL), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (USA), Perth International Arts Festival, Adelaide Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Limelight Australian Composition Seminar, Four Winds Festival, Asian Composers’ League Festival (TWN), Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and Now Hear This Festival (CAN). Holly’s music has been performed in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the USA by ensembles and artists including Orkest de Ereprijs, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Offspring, Rubiks Collective, Sydney Symphony Fellows, RKST21 (Ereprijs and Het Gelders Orkest), Michael Kieran Harvey and Timothy Phillips, Caroline Cartens, Sydney Youth Orchestras, The Riot Ensemble, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, The Hourglass Ensemble, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, The Sound Collectors, The Violet Collective, Minot Symphony Orchestra, Hwaum Chamber Orchestra, Georgia Tech Strings, and National Taiwan Normal University Orchestra.
Holly is composer in residence at MLC School, Burwood, and was previously composer in residence at Prairiewood High School. She completed a Doctor of Creative Arts under the supervision of Bruce Crossman and John Encarnacao at Western Sydney University, where she is currently a sessional academic.
Holly also plays drum kit and percussion in the improvised rock duo Tabua-Harrison with Joey Tabua (electric guitar). Their debut record Scout has just been released by Psychopyjama.
MLC School 15th Biennial Concert, Sydney Opera House