Sadie Harrison is a composer known particularly for the 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. For several years, Sadie also pursued a secondary career as an archaeologist. 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.
Supported by Arts Council England and PRSF (including Women in Music and Composers Fund grants), she has been Composer-in-Residence with Cuatro Puntos (USA), Kunstler Bei Wu Sculpturepark (Germany), and Composer-in-Association with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Her symphonic work Sapida-Dam-Nau for the Afghanistan Women’s Orchestra (Ensemble Zohra) was premiered at the Closing Concert of the World Economic Forum, Davos in January 2017 with subsequent performances in Geneva, Weimar and Berlin. Sadie was appointed as Visiting Fellow to Goldsmiths College, London in recognition of her unique compositional research work on Afghanistan.
Sadie has recently been working on 4 large projects. Pasture&Storm (PRSF Composer’s Fund, Hinrichsen, Ambache Charitable Trust & ACE funded) with virtuoso left hand pianist Nicholas McCarthy, Sophia Benton, Tomas Klement, Peyee Chen and the Bristol Ensemble, has seen the creation of 8 new works for disabled pianists, from solos to a chamber concerto – the recording will be released on Prima Facie in early Autumn 2022 with premieres at St. George’s Brandon Hill in September. Collaborating with Alex Wilson, Sadie has written a 30 minute work for the FSKelly Project, celebrating the life and music of Australian composer and Olympic rower Frederick Septimus Kelly premiered in Southwark Cathedral in October 2021. The substantial piano cycle Portraits from the Place of the Yew-trees with Duncan Honeybourne will be released by Prima Facie in Summer 2022 and was premiered in Howden Minster in October 2021. Songs of the Golden Path was recorded by the Odora Trio for Nimbus in June 2022. Further recordings for 2022/3 include Lunae: Four Nocturnes with Roderick Chadwick on Divine Art, To Dear Cleg with Alex Wilson on Prima Facie and Ad infinitum for multi-tracked violins for Steve Bingham.
Sadie’s music is published by UYMP and ABRSM with works on ABRSM and Trinity examination board repertoire lists.
Biography taken from composer’s website.
Photo: Bella West