HARRIS BECKER has had a rich and varied career as a guitarist and lutenist. As a young musician studying the classical guitar he had a fascination with improvisation, which led him to explore jazz. He also had a strong interest in contemporary music, which offered him the opportunity to work closely with composers and premiere many solo and ensemble pieces throughout his career. Among the composers who have dedicated works to him are Carlo Domeniconi, Hayley Savage, Raoul Pleskow, Howard Rovics, microtonal composer Johnny Reinhard, Alan Hirsh, Michael Frassetti, Joseph Russo and Richard Iacona.
Becker has performed extensively both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada. In recent years he has given concerts and master classes in New York, Alabama, Canada, Connecticut, Florida and Bermuda. In the fall of 2014 Mr. Becker gave concerts and master classes in Thailand and throughout Vietnam including at the U.S Consulate in Saigon. In the spring of 2015 “The Amaryllis Project” (world-renowned pipa virtuoso Liu Fang and Harris Becker) will give a concert of world premieres for pipa & guitar at the Long Island Guitar Festival.
Harris Becker is Director of Guitar Studies at LIU Post where he has established a comprehensive guitar program. In 1993 Mr. Becker founded the Long Island Guitar Festival, of which the New York Times wrote: “The “Long Island” in the festival title clearly refers to its location and origins, rather than to its scope”. Mr. Becker has been a faculty member at Nassau Community College, The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and Director of Music for Mixed Ensembles at the International Institute for Chamber Music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich. The Florida State Division of Cultural Affairs selected Mr. Becker to participate in Florida's Artist Residency Program, giving lecture/performances on the lute and baroque guitar. He recently received an award for outstanding service from the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Long Island University.
Harris Becker is co-founder and artistic director of the summer music festival in rural Quebec “Songe d’été en Musique”, which will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2015. His recordings include “Catgut Flambo” with guitarist Pasquale Bianculli and a solo CD “Passing Through.” His editions and publications are published by T.D. Ellis Music Publishing and Calavar Music.