Born in Mississippi, Harmon Lewis graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in Organ from Millsaps College in Jackson. He earned a Master of Music degree in 1964 at Indiana University in Bloomington where he studied organ with Oswald Ragatz and harpsichord with Marie Zorn. That same year he was the first prize winner in the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition. Lewis taught organ, piano, music theory and humanities at Centre College of Kentucky in Danville from 1964 to1968.
In 1968 Mr. Lewis returned to Indiana University for further graduate studies. Academic exploration piqued his interest in Baroque performance practices, especially figured bass improvisation, and he began serious study of the harpsichord with Marie Zorn. His studies at Indiana University earned Harmon Lewis a Doctor of Music Degree in Organ completed in 1979. Since graduate school, Mr. Lewis has become more involved as a pianist, but maintains his interest and skills in harpsichord and organ as well. In Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1972-1978, Mr. Lewis was Artist-in-Residence at Dalhousie University, and performed regularly on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Organists in Recital program, in addition to appearing in recitals in Canada and the United States with Gary Karr.
In 1971, Harmon Lewis joined with notable doublebassist, Gary Karr, to form the Karr-Lewis Duo which built a schedule of appearances that took the team all over North America as well as Great Britain, continental Europe, Russia, Israel, Australia and the Orient, where their many recordings are runaway favorites. The Karr-Lewis Duo have appeared regularly at renowned festivals around the world such as the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland, the Edinburgh Festival, the Bergen Festival in Norway and the Victoria International Festival in British Columbia.
The Karr-Lewis Duo played their final public concert in June 2001. Harmon Lewis now resides in Victoria, British Columbia and, together with Gary Karr, has embarked on a major recording project which will include most the works they have transcribed and performed in concert over the past 30 years.
Harmon Lewis and Gary Karr