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 Master's degree in performance at the University of Ottawa in 2012 under the guidance of Joel Quarrington. Travis has happily ended a 6-year tenure with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, having joined in Fall of 2013, and most recently has been engaged as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician in his home town of Toronto. 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 European tours with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2019 as well as the Aldeburgh World Orchestra for the London 2012 Olympic Festival. Also of note are several months filling in as principal bass of the Canadian Opera Company. He makes regular appearances as an extra musician with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, an institution to which he owes many of his most memorable artistic experiences. Recently, Travis’ artistic endeavours have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, and the Winnipeg Arts Council, for which he is very grateful.
As a teacher, Travis has served as a faculty member of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, Carleton University, the University of Manitoba, and Sistema Winnipeg. Travis currently maintains a private studio based out of Toronto, and also offers lessons taught online. 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, the Belfountain Festival, and the 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 cutting-edge technique book.
Whenever and wherever possible, Travis loves to play chamber music and performs regularly throughout Canada. He was a founding member of the Winnipeg Chamber Players, and Nova Scotia’s Iris Ensemble. He has also performed with the Kaimerata Festival of Denman Island (British Columbia), Ritornello Festival (Saskatoon), Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia), Off Centre Music Salon (Toronto), the BelfountainFestival (Southern Ontario) 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). Outside of classical music, he can also be heard playing the bass on 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.
While not playing music, the art of beer making, wood working, and audio/video production take up much of Travis' time. He is currently very excited to be working on a multimedia recording with his old mentor, Joel Quarrington, as well as a recording of Fjola Evans' Dogged for Cello and Double Bass and the solo bass works of Hans Werner Henze.