HARRISON--James. James Stanley Harrison. August 29, 1935 - May 24, 2020, of Palisades, NY died peacefully Sunday, May 24, 2020. A prominent music educator, James was much loved by nearly three decades of students at Hunter College in New York City. He was responsible for instituting a leading curriculum for classical music theory and an educational pedagogy that many continue to employ today. James was born in St. Louis, MO to Garnet Toalson Harrison and Stanley Leonard Harrison MD. A top student and athlete at the John Burroughs School, James went on to Harvard College, graduating with an AB in Music in 1957. After completing summer studies at the American School at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, James was invited to teach at the iconic institution. There, he met Marina Biaggi. They married in 1961 and lived in France and Switzerland, where their two children were born, and while James taught music and toured as an orchestral conductor. In 1969 he began his tenure at Hunter College, where he was a Professor of music theory, Chair of the Music Department, and eventually Dean of Arts and Humanities. Music was ever present in James and Marina's lives - they literally built their home of 47 years around their Steinway grand piano, which was constantly played by James, Marina, friends and colleagues. Upon his retirement from Hunter College, James and Marina's passion for the arts led them to co-establish the Bogliasco Foundation, a residential fellowship program for the arts and humanities in Italy. As the visionary Founding Director, James worked tirelessly to develop this new organization. James is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marina Biaggi Harrison, children Laura and Phil, grandchildren Isabel, Lou and Eliot, sister Sue Rodgers, and cats Fannie, Celine and Leo.
Published by New York Times on May 31, 2020.