Erik Harris, contrabass
Born in New York City and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Erik Harris began his musical studies on guitar at age 5 and switched to double bass at age 13. He attended the Juilliard School on a full scholarship, where he studied with noted double bass pedagogue Homer Mensch. While at Juilliard Mr. Harris won the double bass concerto competition and performed as soloist with the Juilliard Symphony. 
He went on to receive both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard, and was recognized as one their 100 most notable alumni in honor of the school’s 100th anniversary in 2005. Mr. Harris served as Principal Bass with the New World Symphony in Miami during its inaugural season in 1988. The following year, at age 23, he was invited by Sir Georg Solti to join the Chicago Symphony. He was appointed to his present post as Principal Double Bass of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1993. Mr. Harris gave the American premier of Tan Dun's Concerto for Contrabass and Orchestra "Wolf Totem" in 2015 with Music Director David Robertson conducting. An avid teacher, he has taught master classes at the Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony, and the Juilliard School, and currently serves on the faculty of Webster University. Mr. Harris performs on a double bass made by Johannes Gagliano in 1804.

This biography was most recently edited by...
oih - 29 Sep 2016