"While I can't claim to be an authority on the subject of the music of this particular country I can say one thing with absolute certainty, he is without question one of his country's best composers. And how can I say that with absolute certainty, well for the obvious reason that he is obviously one of the best, most imaginative, accomplished and individual composers working anywhere in the world today."Jim Svejda KUSC Radio Southern California during his introduction to the music of Ross Harris (August 2011)

Ross Harris is one of New Zealand's leading contemporary composers of art music. His prolific output of more than two hundred compositions has seen him receive the coveted SOUNZ Contemporary Award more times than any other New Zealand composer.

Following his studies at Victoria University under Douglas Lilburn in 1971, Ross went on to receive national and international awards for his electroacoustic compositions. His compositions since span the width and breadth of the contemporary classical world, from opera to symphonic music, chamber music and electronic music. In 1985, Harris received a Queen Service Medal for his opera Waituhi created in collaboration with the libretto by Witi Ihimaera's and the CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in 1990.

Since leaving his teaching position at Victoria University in 2004 Ross has been working as a freelance composer. In 2005-6 he was Composer in Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia during which time he wrote nine pieces including two symphonies. In 2008 - 2009 he was Composer in Residence at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington during which he wrote his Symphony No. III, Variation 25 for string quartet for the New Zealand String Quartet. Recently Ross has had premieres of his Symphony no.4, Violin Concerto no.1 (with Anthony Marwood and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) and his Cello Concerto (with the Auckland Philharmonia and Li-Wei Qin).

In recent years, Ross's music has been released by prestigious record companies, Rattle and Naxos. His collaborations with poet Vincent O'Sullivan have produced two operas, a symphony, three song cycles and Requiem for the Fallen. One of the song cycles The Abiding Tides (for soprano Jenny Wollerman and the New Zealand String Quartet) was described by music critic Rod Biss as "...a work that instantly enriched our heritage of New Zealand music".

1945
Born in Amberley North Canterbury New Zealand
1967
Graduated BMus (Hons) Canterbury University
1971
Began teaching at Victoria University Studied electronic music with Douglas Lilburn
1973
Graduated MMus (with distinction) Victoria University
1975
Award for To a Child - Bourges International Electroacoustic Music  Festival
1976
Kiwi Pacific Record New Zealand Electronic Music Games Affair Suite, Poem, To a Child
1977
Kiwi Pacific Record New Zealand Electronic Music Horizons, Shadow Music
1984
Opera Waituhi libretto Witi Ihimaera
1985
Queen Service Medal
1986
Kiwi Pacific Record New Zealand NZ Flora Series Vol.1 Trio
1987
Commission for opening of National Library Dreams,Yellow Lions CD Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music Vol. 4 Composer  Portrait: Ross Harris 
1990
CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music
1992
Opera Tqnz der Schwane Libretto Witi Ihimaera
1999
CD Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music Vol. 1 A Violin and  Piano Recital Nocturne
2000
To the Memory of I. S. Totska SOUNZ Contemporary Award winner
2001
Best Classical album - Strike New Zealand Percussion Music Ricochet
2003
Chaconne for Solo Viola SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalist CD Trust Brass Aotearoa Bremner Aria
2004
At the Edge of Silence SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalist CD Taurangi – New Zealand Flute Music Ka wawara te hau...
2005
Labyrinth for Tuba and Orchestra SOUNZ Contemporary Award winner Jayrem CD The Mongrel in Me. Mahinarangi Tocker with Ross Harris on trumpet.
2005-6
Composer in Residence with Auckland Philharmonia
2006
Symphony no. 2 SOUNZ Contemporary Award winner
2007
The Sleep of Reason SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalist
2009
Symphony 3 SOUNZ Contemporary Award winner
2010
Violin Concerto no. 1 SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalist Atoll CD Aurora Australia Senryu Attoll CD Notes from a Journey Variation 25
2011
CD The Tudor Consort: The ‘Earthquake Mass Vobiscum in aeternum
2012
Naxos CD Symphonies 2 and 3
2014
World Premiere Requiem for the Fallen Naxos CD Symphony 4 and Cello Concerto Rattle CD Landscape Preludes A Landscape with too few lovers Arts Foundation Laureate Award Recipient