Harrison Jude Benford, 15, began studying piano at age five and in recent years has performed at Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan and Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. He studies piano with Nancy O’Neill Breth and worked previously with Dmitri Nazarenko and composer Janet Peachey. In 2020, Harrison won both First Prize and Audience Prize in the HeartOut International Piano Competition, competing against pianists from across the United States, China and Russia. Enrique Graf lauded his “very mature playing with deep understanding and feeling. Every piece is played in style and convincingly. Bravo!” Also in 2020, Harrison took First Place in the Ylda Novik Memorial Piano Concerto Competition and the Miriam Shields Gottlieb Memorial Piano Competition and Second Place in the Gertrude Brown Memorial Piano Concerto Competition. He has won numerous Honors in several MSMTA, NVMTA and WMTA judged recitals, as well as in NVMTA’s Bach Baroque Competition. In 2019, Harrison attended Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Piano Program and the Indiana University Piano Academy at the Jacobs School of Music. He enjoys collaborative piano and in 2017 and 2018 attended Point CounterPoint in Vermont where he performed chamber music by Beethoven, Bloch and Debussy. Harrison plays jazz and blues piano in the Honors Jazz Ensemble at Winston Churchill High School and performs in nursing homes and hospitals as a volunteer for the Tacy Foundation. In his spare time, Harrison is a competitive online gamer and tournament Scrabble player, ranking third in North America at the 2017 North American School Scrabble Championships.
You can find Harrison’s performance here.