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 music has been performed in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the USA. Recent projects have included works for Australian Youth Orchestra, Monash Academy Orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, Matthew Kneale and Omega Ensemble, Canberra International Music Festival, Ensemble Offspring, and the set string quartet work, Balderdash, for the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. She is currently writing a viola concertino for Stefanie Farrands and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, amongst other top secret projects soon to be announced.
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. Eighth Blackbird’s performance was later awarded Performance of the Year at the 2018 Art Music Awards. Holly was the inaugural winner of the 2017 Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize, awarded to an Australian female composer, and was a winner of Nu Deco Ensemble's 2018 Nu Works initiative. She was awarded first place at the 2014 Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, chaired by Louis Andriessen, and was the winner of the 2013 Pyeongchon Arts Hall International Chamber Music Composition Competition (South Korea). 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 (NL), November Music (NL), LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight (USA), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (USA), Perth International Arts Festival, Adelaide Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, 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 by ensembles and artists including Orkest de Ereprijs, Rubiks Collective, Sydney Symphony Fellows, Riley Lee and Enigma Quartet, Het Gelders Orkest and Caroline Cartens, Michael Kieran Harvey and Timothy Phillips, Sydney Youth Orchestras, , Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, The Hourglass Ensemble, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, The Sound Collectors, 2Hz, Lloyd Van’t Hoff, Jessica Jones, Ensemble Garage, The Violet Collective, Minot Symphony Orchestra, Hwaum Chamber Orchestra, Georgia Chamber 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 is available on Psychopyjama.