Michael Allen Harrison delivers music to the heart. His classical contemporary style carves a distinct niche of timeless music that has connected with thousands throughout his three-decade career. Michael is an American composer, songwriter and pianist from Portland, Oregon. As an iconic artist, he is known for his magical 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 for his giving spirit. Michael is the founder and president of the Snowman Foundation, the Ten Grands concert series, and the beloved Christmas at the Old Church concert series, approaching its 25th season.
He has created over fifty albums released through MAH Records.
L E G A C Y
MIchael 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- Portland, Oregon.
A Yamaha / Bosendorfer Artist, Michael is the founder of the Snowman Foundation, a nonprofit which has raised over 3 million dollars for music education supporting school programs and community centers. The organization has made hundreds of instruments and scholarships available to gifted yet disadvanteged children.
He created the Ten Grands concert series as the main platform and fundraiser for the Snowman Foundation. In "Ten Grands", Michael joins forces with nine other pianists performing together on ten pianos to benefit the mission of The Snowman Foundation. The concert is approaching its 16th season. Michael expanded his mission to Seattle and created a 75-minute matinee show especially for local students. The three "Ten Grands for Kids" shows feature talented young artists performing alongside seasoned proffesionals. Through his concerts, Michael reminds the world of the importance of music education.
R E C O G N I T I O N
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 contemporary adult.
His record, "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").
Additionally, Michael performed at THE WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE at the Hague in the Netherlands on May 14, 1999. He has performed for President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Quincy Jones during their visit to Portland, Oregon. As the opening act for the Celebrity Forum Interactive Speaker Series, Michael played for Walter Cronkite, Jerry Spence, Margaret Thatcher, Jerry Lewis, Colin Powell, Jan Schlichtman and James Whitmore. He also composed and performed a new work entitled "Ocean of Wisdom" for the Dalai Lama.
Every year, Michael presents a new composition with The Portland Festival Symphony during their summer concert series. In 2008, he was honored by the Oregon Symphony by the presentation of a two hour program highlighting Michael' compositions.
F I L M
Michael scored the motion pictures "Claire of the Moon" (1992), James Westby's "Anoosh of the Airways" (1998), the short films "Mortified Man" and "Both Sides Now", and a documentary for OPB, "Age of Infamy". Additionally, he has produced scores for national infomercials such as Solo Flex and Nordic Flex Gold, as well as a national commercial for United Way.
B A L L E T & T H E A T E R
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 locally popular for years until the dispersion of the American Dance Theater in 1994. Michael has also acted as the company pianist for the Pacific Ballet Theater, Ballet Oregon, and Oregon Ballet Theater. He premiered his musical Prometheus at The Lakewood Theater in 2009. The following year, he was one of the four composers who contributed to the hit musical, 69.
In 2012, he created The Snowman And The Red Thread, a children's story and ballet featuring Polaris Dance Theater. In the same year, he wrote the music for Stumptown Stages' hit musical "It's A Wonderful Life" (additional music by Julianne Johnson, book and lyrics by Alan Berg and Janet Mouser). In 2015, Stumptown Stages premiered "Soul Harmony", created by the same creative team.