Music Department


Frederick Harris, Director of Wind and Jazz Ensembles. M.M., New England Conservatory, Ph.D., University of Minnesota. Frederick Harris, Jr. is music director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and Festival Jazz Ensemble. He also has served as acting music director of the MIT Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Wind Ensemble, music director of the Summer Music Festival at the South Shore Conservatory, conductor of the Concerto Grosso Orchestra at the University of Minnesota, and he has guest conducted the New Hampshire Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, among others. Dr. Harris’ first book, Conducting with Feeling, was published by Meredith Music in 2001. His new book, Seeking the Infinite: The Musical Life of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,was published by CreateSpace in 2011. He is a strong advocate for the creation and performance of new music, having commissioned and/or premiered over 65 works for wind, jazz, and mixed ensembles. He recently organized an international consortium of nine orchestras and wind ensembles from the U.S., Germany, Austria, and Japan to commission Maestro Skrowaczewski to compose Music for Winds. He has lectured on music in Canada and at many New England universities, as well as for the Minnesota Orchestra and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken. Recordings by the MIT Wind Ensemble include Waking Winds (2004), published by INNOVA Recordings of the American Composers, and Solo Eclipse (2008), published by Albany Records. Both CDs feature premiere recordings by composers such as Schuller, Child, Ziporyn, Klein, and Amis. Dr. Harris recently conducted Kenny Werner’s No Beginning, No End (2010), in New York City for Half Note Records. The work features Werner, Joe Lovano and Judi Silvano. Dr. Harris’ ensembles at MIT have worked with artists such as Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, Michael Colgrass, Frank Battisti, Herb Pomeroy, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Don Byron, Ran Blake, Guillermo Klein, Kenneth Amis, Magali Souriau Steve Turre, and Evan Ziporyn. His conducting teachers included Stephen Massey, Frank Battisti, Gunther Schuller, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Craig Kirchhoff. He studied percussion with Arthur Press, former principal percussionist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and jazz drums with Alan Dawson. He was awarded the 2010 Paul Smith Hall of Fame Award from the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association. The award is presented annually “to a Massachusetts music conductor who is a musical and personal inspiration to students, the community, and other professional conductors.”

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Frederick Harris