Born in Toronto, Canada, Travis Harrison is a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University. His post-graduate work was with the National Arts Centre’s Institute for Orchestral Studies while he concurrently completed a performance Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in 2012 under the guidance of Joel Quarrington. Since 2013 Travis is happily a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and most recently was engaged as acting Principal Bass for the Canadian Opera Company. Travis has also been serving the bass community as a board member of the International Society of Bassists since 2017.
Travis’ most formative musical experiences include a European tour to the Proms at Royal Albert Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Aldeburgh World Orchestra for the London 2012 Olympic Festival, as well as several performances with the Toronto Symphony and Montreal Symphony Orchestras. He also makes regular appearances as an extra musician with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, an institution to which he owes many of his most memorable artistic experiences.
He has participated in the summer festival programs of Banff, Crested Butte (Colorado), Mt. Orford and Domaine Forget (Quebec), Schloss Hundisburg and Ochsenhausen (Germany), Denman Island’s Kiamerata (British Columbia), LAMP (Lunenburg, NS), and has performed in masterclasses for Joel Quarrington (London Symphony Orchestra) and Matthew MacDonald (Berlin Philharmonic). Recently, Travis’ artistic endeavors have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Arts Council, for which he is very grateful.
Travis is active as a faculty member of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, Carleton University, The University of Manitoba Prep Studies Division, and also maintains a private studio. He has taught masterclasses at the University of Toronto, Brandon University, and University of Ottawa; and acted as a mentor to students at the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance. He jointly published a first-of-it’s-kind eBook with Joel Quarrington, called the Canadian School of Double Bass. It is an in-depth study of Maestro Quarrington’s modernized approach to playing the double bass, complete with video and audio examples, making it a truly modern technique book.
Whenever and wherever possible, Travis loves to play chamber music and performs regularly with the Winnipeg Chamber Players. He has also performed with the Kaimerata Festival of Denman Island (British Columbia), Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia) and in concerts with various groups in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Germany, and the UK.
As a recording artist, Travis has played on numerous classical recordings, most recently the National Arts Centre’s Life Reflected (2016), which includes works by Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizee, and John Estacio; Christos Hatzis’ Juno award winning Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation (2015); The Aldeburgh World Orchestra’s At the Speed of Stillness (2014); and Orchestre de la Francophonie’s Symphonie Fantastique (2012). Travis also participated in Eleanor McCain’s True North: The Canadian Songbook (2017); and was featured playing the double bass on Weezer’s 2010 album Hurley.
Travis is the proud owner of two very fine double basses: an old English bass attributed to Vincenzo Panormo, circa 1810; and a bass he commissioned from contemporary Canadian master luthier Mario Lamarre, completed in December 2018. Travis makes music on these instruments with the fine bows of Canadian bow maker Bernard Walke.