Michael Harrison

Michael Harrison's Biography

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 almost three 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 3 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". In 2012 he created The Snowman And The Red Thread- Children's Story and Ballet w/ Polaris Dance Theater. In 2012 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 & Janet Mouser . In the Spring of 2015 Stumptown Stages will world premiere "Soul Harmony" with the same creative team.


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 Ð 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)
2011Live At Jimmy Mak's, Michael Allen Harrison Superband at it's finest!!
2012 Crossing Over, a musical Haggadah, Book & Lyrics by Alan Berg
2012 The Snowman And The Red Thread-Children's Story and Ballet w/ Polaris Dance Theater
2013 Christmas Dreams,Piano Solo
2014 Ode To Joy, Piano solo

Michael Harrison's Gear
Michael Harrison

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