Celebrated as a leader with “imagination and ambition” by the LA Times and “a pioneer in the use of digital technology” by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Scott Harrison has secured tens of millions of dollars in funding for cultural organizations nationwide while designing initiatives that are changing artistic practice, music education and community engagement via inclusivity and entrepreneurship. He has led many organizations through uncertain times, helping to build compelling cases for their futures, refresh programming and curriculums, inspire external and internal stakeholders, weather changing environments with resolve, adopt more equitable practices, embrace media opportunities and enhance local and international visibility.
As Executive Vice President and Provost, Harrison's portfolio of responsibilities includes the core mission of the institution, ranging from academic to student affairs, pre-college programs to recruitment and artistic programs to service to the Cleveland community. The role serves as a creative partner to a strategically driven and innovative President – as well as an equally driven and supportive Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and student body. Harrison and his team conceive, develop, implement and assess forward-thinking initiatives to foster the musical, intellectual, community and artistic development of CIM’s student artists, faculty and staff, while enhancing the Institute's capacity to prepare CIM graduates, from Pre-College to the Conservatory, for successful futures.
Before joining CIM, Harrison led two distinctive American orchestras through executive transitions, most immediately as interim executive director at the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, where he launched a reimagined season of virtual and socially distanced activity with the all-digital Orpheum Sessions and outdoor Music at the Museum series as its flagship offerings. Recognized by the New York Times and New Yorker, the LPO presented over 700 engagements that reached over 70,000 audience members, despite the pandemic, with collaborators like new creative partner Courtney Bryan, trumpeter/composer Nicholas Payton, violinist Jennifer Koh and Grammy-nominated band Tank and the Bangas. The community responded enthusiastically, with the number of donors up 35% and an unprecedented $1M+ in major gifts.
As interim executive director of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra, Harrison guided the organization to new levels of sustainability, raising $1.5M in under six months, through an integrated cultural, strategic and fundraising plan. As executive director of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, he launched the LA Orchestra Fellowship, creating pathways for aspiring Black and Latinx professional musicians in partnership with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of LA and USC Thornton School of Music, and the critically acclaimed SESSION, which married music and movement through a partnership with the immersive theatre company Four Larks. As vice president of advancement and external relations and executive producer of digital media at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Harrison developed Live from Orchestra Hall, a global platform for virtual concerts with over one million viewers worldwide, including 100,000 students tuning into specially produced “Classroom Edition” webcasts, while contributing to a widely embraced shift in the orchestra’s relationship to Detroit.
Deeply committed to arts education as a right and a believer in the power of cultural diplomacy, Harrison is a founding board member of BLUME Haiti, which supports youth and community development with more than 40 partner music schools, and has helped forge ties with the Colburn School, Interlochen Center for the Arts and Sphinx Organization to further the development of Haitian music students. A graduate of Northwestern University (BM, bassoon, and BA, political science), Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts (MM, bassoon) and executive education programs including National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program and Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, Harrison has also taught bassoon across the western hemisphere and spoken, facilitated and coached for the League of American Orchestras, Tessitura Network, Global Leaders Program, Indiana Public Broadcasting, Classical:Next, Arts Midwest, Association of California Symphony Orchestras and Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras.