Michael Ford is an accomplished pianist and self-taught composer. He has developed a compositional and improvisational style that draws on many influences but it is rooted in a classical music aesthetic that stems from his life dedication to the piano.
“…Michael Ford has this rare ability to transport listeners to deep emotional places with his music. It is rich with color and movement, and we travel alongside every note.”
His 2009 solo release “Dream of the Wind” was nominated for best contemporary classical album by the Independent Music Awards.
In 2012, his next piano album "Simple Truth" was also nominated for best contemporary classical album by the IMA.
His current release is "Leah's Farewell" which has developed much attention on Soundcloud.
His collaboration with children’s book author and illustrator Sandra Boynton has won him 3 gold records and one (Philadelphia Chickens) is now platinum.
He began studying the piano at the age of 4, and performed his first public concert at age 6. He made his debut as soloist with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra at 13. He studied piano with Ralph Kemmerer, Eleanor Sokoloff and Susan Starr. He studied composition with Romeo Cascarino and Theodore Antonio, and electronic music with Andrew Rudin at Philadelphia Musical Academy. He also played rock music on many kinds of keyboards in "Vacuum Pact", "Pegasus" and "Children", finding a particular interest in the British progressive "Art Rock" genre. In the '80's, he toured as pianist for the Paul Taylor Dance Company and performed both as soloist and with the orchestra in their Broadway seasons. He recorded the two piano version of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for PBS "Dance in America" series as well as "Great Performances" for the Joffrey Ballet.
While exploring other worlds of music including jazz and experimental improvisation, acoustic blues and electronic music with various ensembles, he began making recordings of his own music as a keyboard soloist. He has developed a compositional style that draws on these influences but is rooted in a classical aesthetic that stems from his dedication to the piano.
At that same time he developed a deep interest in music synthesis and sampling techniques, creating music in many styles and formats for keyboard synthesizer companies, trading demos for keyboards, which quickly set him up to be able to create music for film and video with an orchestral emphasis. This led to "Keyboard Magazine" awarding him high honors for a recording of his composition for piano and electronic orchestra in 1992. In the summer of 1993 he performed at Lincoln Center using his electronic keyboards with fellow recording artist/composer John Greenland.
In 1995-1996 he co-wrote a musical based on the life of Harry Houdini with composer/lyricist Carl Kusnell. In 1996 he began his long collaboration with children's book author and illustrator, Sandra Boynton, creating first a collection of children's songs entitled "Rhinoceros Tap" for Workman Publishing Co. Their next book/CD entitled “Philadelphia Chickens” released in 2002 was Grammy nominated and was on the New York Times best-seller list for close to a year. Boynton and Ford have just completed their fifth book/CD "Frog Trouble" that features Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Fountains of Wayne, Kacey Musgraves, Linda Eder, Mark Lanegan and Josh Turner.
Since his move up to Connecticut in 2005 along with his continuing collaboration with Sandra Boynton, he has been composing and recording piano music as well as music for films.