Joel Harrison is Artistic Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pianists Association, an organization that discovers, promotes and advances the careers of young American world-class jazz and classical pianists.
In this position, he is responsible for an extensive, unique and highly competitive fellowship program that provides career assistance worth over $75,000 over a period of two years for one Jazz Cole Porter Fellow and two Classical Fellows.
Other programs under the direction of Dr. Harrison are the DeHaan National Orchestra Program, a nationwide program of concerto performances with orchestras performed by APA Fellows; PianoFest, a national and international touring program; Music Matters, an in-house recital series for friends of APA; the Concerto Curriculum, an educational and community outreach program; and a new classical concert series in the 2009-2010 season, Grand Encounters that will debut with a recital by André Watts.
Through collaborations with the U. S. State Department,Dr. Harrison tours internationally as a United States cultural envoy in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Northern Africa with the APA Classical and Jazz Fellows.
Dr. Harrison judges for international piano competitions and serves on local, regional and national arts committees and boards. He was a music consultant for Sky magazine of Delta Airlines and co-produced a highly acclaimed APA series of three compact discs on the Harmonia Mundi label, which is marketed internationally. As a concert artist, Dr. Harrison performed with critical success on two occasions at Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall, and with his colleague,Lana Johns, performed extensively in Europe and the United States.
Prior to his appointment with the American Pianist Association, Dr. Harrison was on the faculties at Davidson College in North Carolina and Mississippi State University, where he was also Director of the Mississippi Piano Showcase and Touring Artist for the Mississippi Arts Commission. Dr. Harrison received degrees from the University of North Carolina, Indiana University and Northwestern University. He continued with his education in Switzerland, Austria and Italy, where he studied with Guido Agosti. He lives in Indianapolis and, in addition to his music activities, pursues interests in contemporary art and architecture.