Steinway Signature artist, Michael Allen Harrison’s music is best described as a genre of it’s own. His cutting edge, classical contemporary style carves a distinct niche of timeless music which far exceeds the scales of his Steinway keyboard. As a sought after producer, composer and arranger, this well-known concert pianist has been in the music scene for over two decades. His hometown calls him the “Quincy Jones” of the Northwest, the place where Michael’s roots come from and where his popularity became quickly recognized around the globe.
Performing for President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Quincy Jones and the Dalai Lama, Michael has also been the opening act for the Celebrity Forum Speaker Series highlighting Walter Cronkite, Jerry Spence, Margaret Thatcher, Jerry Lewis, Colin Powell, Jan Schlichtman and James Whitmore. He has received many accolades including a NASA Orbiting Certificate for air play in space on the space shuttle ENDEAVOR and one of his albums went up on the space shuttle DISCOVERY. Michael has also performed at the United Nations premiering his tribute song “Remembrance” for the 50th Anniversary of Israel's Independence, as well as The World Peace Conference at the Hague, in the Netherlands. Joining the ranks of Vera Katz (former Mayor) and Oregon Symphony Conductor, James Depriest, Michael also had a Star set in stone named in his honor in front of the Portland, Oregon Performing Arts Center recognizing his talent and his significant contributions to the arts.
Michael’s noteworthy philanthropy outreach in his “City of Roses” has left its mark. As an activist to an initiative he calls “Bring Back The Music”, Michael launched The Snowman Foundation in 2000, an organization that supports school programs where music has been eliminated due to budget cuts and provides instruments and scholarships for kids who can’t afford it. In addition, Michael has released over 20 Benefit CD’s in his continued support of his beloved community.
In 1986 Michael debuted his first album which quickly launched him in the Northwest scene as one of the most loved and recognized musicians. Since then Michael has released over 40 CD's sharing his wide variety of composing styles. His musical genius crosses many different genres, from classical contemporary to new age/world and smooth jazz. He launched MAH Records in 1984 which became his well-known label for other popular Northwest artists. To date, Michael has produced over 200 musicians including his most recent CD for Katie Harman, Miss America 2001.
A classical musician at heart, one of Michael’s favorite pastimes is performing with the Symphony, which is something he has been doing since 1996. As a composer and arranger his favorite compositions have been passionate arrangements for piano and orchestra, and has performed numerous times with the Portland Festival Symphony, including his first concerto, “The Mount Hood Concerto”. “Classical music tells a story like no other genre. I often feel as though I channel this music through because it still wants to be heard. Composers such as Chopin, Grieg, Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky as well as modern composers including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jon Williams and George Gershwin have been a great influence on me because of their magnificent storytelling. I’m passionately moved to bring these sounds back with a classical contemporary cutting edge.”
Since 1992, Michael has become nationally recognized for writing film scores for many motion pictures, short films and documentaries. He has been the Musical Director for numerous Ballet and Theater Companies including the Oregon Children’s Theater and the American Dance Theater. Most recently he music directed “The Full Monty” and launched his own musical, Prometheus.
No matter what type of genre this extraordinary musician plays, he always seems to hit the heart strings of his audiences and melts them with his heartwarming melodies and passionate lyrics. Whether he’s playing in front of a 2,000 seated audience or one of his popular evenings entitled, “Dinner with Michael” (in his very own living room), his breathtaking sound takes people on a mesmerizing journey that keeps them coming back for more.
Michael Allen Harrison’s musical talents began at the young age of 6 when his parents decided to enroll him in piano lessons to help him come out of his shell. “I was painfully shy growing up. My Mom thought it would help me to gain more confidence.” Soon after, he discovered that music came easily for him, he was a natural. He attributes his success to his teachers and professors who all had the confidence in him and continued to encourage his natural talent over the years. The foundational roots that shaped Michael as a young boy left a significant imprint on his heart and eventually led him to launch the Snowman Foundation, an organization that supports school programs where music has been eliminated due to budget cuts and provides instruments and scholarships for kids who can’t afford it. During his college days, Michael became recognized for his unique and natural ability to not only play music, but compose it. Again, supported by his professor he began to write music for theatre programs and branched out as the company pianist for the Pacific Ballet Theater, Ballet Oregon, and Oregon Ballet Theater.
Piano Solo, Up to 6 peice ensemble, Michael has over 20 scores for piano and orchestra
1986 Tea Court Interlude - piano solo
1988 Previews - piano solo
1989 3rd Avenue - Michael Harrison Band/jazz fusion
1990 Moments In Passion - Michael Harrison Band/jazz fusion
1992 Emotional Connection - piano and ensemble, synthesizers
1993 Circle of Influence - Michael Allen Harrison & Friends
1993 Enchanted Christmas - piano and ensemble, synthesizers
1994 Fabric of Life - Benefit CD for Aids
1995 A Tribute to Gershwin & Friends - piano and ensemble, synthesizers
1995 Little Neighborhood - piano and ensemble; synthesizers
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 and ensemble, synthesizers
1998 Live at the Benson-Michael Allen Harrison - piano solo
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 -Michael Allen Harrison - w/ Metropolitan Youth Symphony
1999 The Velveteen Rabbit - Michael Allen Harrison - piano & orchestrations
1999 Michael Allen Harrison 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 Reflections of Tea - Piano Solo
2001 Snowfall - For Christmas
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
2005 Fireside Carols - piano solo sing along
2005 Christmas on Peacock Lane - with Julianne Johnson
2006 Prometheus - Broadway Musical
2006 Nightingale Lullabies - Piano solo
2006- Hooray for Hollywood – Piano solo
2006- Soul of Love w/ Katie Harmon ( Miss America 2002)