John Harrison attended The Cleveland Institute of Music and The Eastman School of Music, studying with Roland and Almita Vamos, Charles Castleman, Sarah Scriven, and Donald Weilerstein (founding member and First Violin of The Cleveland Quartet.)
After two years as Mr. Weilerstein's teaching assistant, Mr. Harrison joined The Montclaire String Quartet as First Violinist. Montclaire's many distinctions include prizes in the Banff, Coleman, Evian and Yellow Springs competitions. The group's recordings include Da Pacem, released by Koch International Classics and Montclaire performs Haydn, Shostakovich, and Turina. Their extensive touring and performance schedule included a radio-broadcast concert series and televised and recorded concerts throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. They participated in The Terrace Concert Series at The Kennedy Center and were managed by Baylin Artists Management. Mr. Harrison has also performed as First Violin of Amernet String Quartet, first-prize winner of The Banff International String Quartet Competition. With Mr. Harrison, Amernet performed Mendelssohn's Octet with The Tokyo String Quartet.
As a soloist, Mr. Harrison has performed the Beethoven, Bartok, Tchaikovsky, Brahms Double, Sibelius and Mendelssohn violin concertos, Bruch's Scottish Fantasy and Vivaldi's Four Seasons with orchestras in Boston, Cleveland, Charleston West Virginia, Casper Wyoming, Wichita Kansas and Hutchinson Kansas. He has performed internationally, including in St. Petersburg Russia and Verviers Belgium and was a featured soloist with The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Mr. Harrison's leadership positions include Concertmaster of The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, The Vermont Symphony Orchestra and The Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He was Principal Second of Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, as well as a substitute member of The Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Boston Pops Orchestra.
An avid supporter of contemporary music, Mr. Harrison performs and records internationally with prominent modern music ensembles, including Boston-based groups Alea III and Phantom Arts and Cleveland-based group New Music Associates. His most recent recording with Phantom Arts features the works of Harvard University composer Eric Chasalow.
Recently, Mr. Harrison released John Harrison Live, a compact disc of live performances featuring him as soloist and collaborator with students and faculty at Wichita State University's School of Music. The disc's unique, baroque-informed rendition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (available on the Wikipedia) lead Public Radio International's Mountain Stage to sponsor Mr. Harrison in a live solo performance of Vivaldi's Winter. This performance was syndicated on over 130 stations worldwide in December of 2001.
A dedicated teacher as well as performer, Mr. Harrison maintains a professorship at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. He fosters an active studio of the finest college students in that area. Many of his students maintain their own leadership positions, enter and win competitions and perform solo works with orchestras.