Michael Allen Harrison delivers music to the heart. His classical contemporary style carves a distinct niche of timeless music that has connected with so many during his two and a half decade career.
Michael is known for his piano solo performances and recordings, his upbeat sound with his band , his work with inspiring vocalist Julianne Johnson, his skills producing and creating music for ballet, theater and film, his love for teaching and perhaps mostly known for his giving spirit. He was honored with a star on the walk of fame in front of the Portland Performing Arts Center for his artistic and community contributions to his beloved city of Portland Oregon.
Michael is the founder and president of The Snowman Foundation which has raised over 2 million dollars for music education supporting school programs, many community centers and has given hundreds of instruments and scholarships to kids who can’t afford it.
He created “Ten Grands” as the main platform and fundraiser where Michael and 9 other pianists perform together on ten pianos to benefit the mission of The Snowman Foundation Ten Grands productions is in it’s eleventh season. Michael has expanded his mission to Seattle and plans on taking the entertaining extravaganza of Ten Grands around the world delivering the message of how important music education is!
Michael's unique brand of music ranges from movie scores to passionate arrangements for piano, orchestra, ballet, jazz, fusion, Smooth Jazz, Pop, New Age, and Adult Contemporary. Michael Allen Harrison's CD, "Emotional Connection”, received a NASA Orbiting Certificate for air play in space on the space shuttle ENDEAVOR. His 1994 album "Circle of Influence" went up on the space shuttle DISCOVERY. On January 29, 1999, Michael was invited to perform in NYC at the United Nations premiering "Remembrance", a tribute song to the 50th Anniversary of Israel's Independence (which can be heard on his benefit CD "Seasons of Peace", recorded for the organization "Season of Non-Violence”). Michael performed at THE WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE at the Hague, in the Netherlands on May 14, 1999.
Michael's most recent double CD release, “Composer Pianist”, celebrates his favorite compositions over the last 25 years, and includes his first Piano Concerto “The Mt Hood Concerto”. Michael has performed for President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Quincy Jones when they have visited Portland. As the opening act for the Celebrity Forum Interactive Speaker Series, he opened for Walter Cronkite, Jerry Spence, Margaret Thatcher, Jerry Lewis, Colin Powell, Jan Schlichtman and James Whitmore. Michael composed and performed a new work entitled, "Ocean of Wisdom" for the Dalai Lama during his visit to Portland, Michael presents a new composition every year with The Portland Festival Symphony during their summer concert series and was honoerd by the Oregon Symphony In 2008 where Michael and the Oregon Symphony presented a 2 hr. program of Michael’s compositions.
Michael scored the motion pictures "Claire of the Moon" in 1992, and James Westby's "Anoosh of the Airways" in 1998. The Short Films - "Mortified Man", "Both Sides Now", and a documentary for OPB, "Age of Infamy”. Additionally, he has produced scores for national infomercials that include Solo Flex and Nordic Flex Gold, as well as a national commercial for United Way.
Ballet and Theater
Michael premiered a new Ballet with the Vancouver Dance Theater in April 1999, of the children’s classic story by Marjorie Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit. Michael also scored a children’s musical version of The Velveteen Rabbit for the Oregon Childrens' Theater, and premiered for Christmas 2000. As the Music Director for the American Dance Theater in Portland in 1988, Michael wrote the score for SnowMan : A Winter Ballet. This Children's ballet was popular for years locally, until the American Dance Theater dispersed in 1994. Michael has also acted as the company pianist for the Pacific Ballet Theater, Ballet Oregon, and Oregon Ballet Theater. Michael premiered his Musical Prometheus in 2009 at The Lakewood Theater in lake Oswego Oregon. In 2010 he was one of the 4 composers who contributed to the hit musical “69”.
- 1986 - Tea Court Interlude - Piano solo
- 1988 - Previews - Piano solo
- 1988 - The Snowman / Winter ballet
- 1989 - 3rd Avenue - Michael Harrison Band/jazz fusion
- 1990 - Moments In Passion - Michael Harrison Band/jazz fusion
- 1992 - Emotional Connection - Piano & Orchestrations
- 1993 - Circle of Influence - Michael Allen Harrison & Friends
- 1993 - Enchanted Christmas - Piano & Orchestrations
- 1994 - Fabric of Life - Benefit CD for Aids
- 1995 - A Tribute to Gershwin & Friends - Piano & Orchestrations
- 1995 - Little Neighborhood - Piano & Orchestrations
- 1995 - Enchanted Christmas Vol II - Michael Allen Harrison & Friends
- 1996 - Matter of Time - Michael Allen Harrison & Friends : Sheffield Labs
- 1996 - Coming of Age - Michael Allen Harrison & Bill Lamb-Vocals
- 1997 - Passion & Grace - Michael Allen Harrison - Piano solo
- 1997 - The Golden Child - Michael Allen Harrison -Piano & Orchestrations
- 1998 - Live at the Benson-Michael Allen Harrison - Piano and ensemble
- 1998 - Rerelease 3rd Avenue - Michael Harrison band/jazz fusion
- 1998 - Christmas at the Old Church- Michael Allen Harrison family and friends
- 1999 - Seasons of Peace w/ Metropolitan Youth Symphony
- 1999 - The Velveteen Rabbit Children's Ballet- Michael Allen Harrison - Piano & Orchestrations
- 1999 - Nutcracker Suite- with his version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
- 2000 - Millennium Live CD- Recorded Live at The Old Church New Years Eve
- 2000 - Steinway Sessions - Piano solo - Limited Edition honoring Michael becoming a Steinway Signature Artist
- 2000 - Cheek to Cheek - with Julianne Johnson
- 2001 - The Velveteen Rabbit / Oregon Children's Theater- Musical theater production
- 2001 - Reflections of Tea - Piano Solo
- 2001 - Snowfall - For Christmas, Piano & Orchestrations
- 2002 - Inspired - with Julianne Johnson
- 2002 - Composer /Pianist Double CD
- 2002 - Journey Home - For Christmas
- 2003 - Rose Garden Suite - 96th Annual Rose Festival Commemorative CD - piano solo
- 2004 - Expressions of Chocolate - Piano solo and Quartet
- 2004 - Holiday Jazz - Michael Allen Harrison Quartet - with Tim Ellis, Phil Baker and Israel Annoh
- 2004 - Christmas festival Of lights at The Grotto - Piano solo
- 2005 - Bedtime Lullabies - Piano solo
- 2005 - Fireside Carols - Piano solo sing along
- 2005 - Christmas on Peacock Lane - With Julianne Johnson
- 2005 - Prometheus – The Musical / Concert CD
- 2006 - Nightingale Lullabies - Piano solo
- 2006 - Notable Impressions - Piano & Orchestrations
- 2006 - Soul Of Love / Katie Harman - Classical Crossover- Michael served as producer, arranger, composer.
- 2007 - Enchanted Christmas Vol. 3 - Piano & Orchestrations
- 2007 - At Midnight - Duet CD w/ saxophonist - Patrick Lamb - Contemporary jazz
- 2008 - Fly Me To The Moon - Piano & Orchestrations
- 2008 - Christmas Anthology - Double CD set /Compilation of Michael's best interpretations of the season
- 2008 - Expressions of Chocolate Vol. 2 - A musical tribute to Moonstruck Chocolates
- 2009 - Tango- Inspired by Argentine Tango -Michael introduces his fabulous Tango band
- 2009 - Simple Gifts- Piano and violin duo- Michael’s Step son Tanner Johnson Shines on this one!
- 2009 - Songs Of Mary- Produced for the famous Grotto in Portland Oregon
- 2009 - Oregon My Oregon- Produced for the famous Portland Ornament
- 2010 - Christmas Reunion- w/violinist Aaron Meyer
- 2011 - Double DVD Set Disc 1 (Piano Solo Journey), Disc 2 (Reflections Of Christmas)