Michael P. Atkinson actively participates in the cultural scenes of New York City and Brooklyn as a French hornist, composer, arranger, conductor, and producer.

Since making his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age 18, Michael has gone on to perform as a soloist and in numerous ensembles. As Solo French hornist of The Knights, he has concertized in the US and Europe, and has played on numerous recordings and broadcasts. As an ensemble player, he has also appeared with, among others, the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  

As an arranger, Michael has worked extensively with Sufjan Stevens. After performing and arranging horn parts on tours of Europe, Asia and the US, Michael began assisting Sufjan to prepare the score for his award-winning symphonic film suite, B.Q.E. At the world premiere performances in October 2008, Michael conducted an ensemble consisting of a chamber orchestra, rock band, hula hoopers, and synchronized film at the Brooklyn Academy of Music opera house.

In 2011, Michael was commissioned by New York City Ballet to create new orchestrations based on Stevens’ album Run Rabbit Run for a new ballet by choreographer Justin Peck. Michael conducted the world premiere in October 2012 at Lincoln Center, which was hailed as “a triumph” by The New York Times.  

Other recent projects include arrangements that been performed by soprano Dawn Upshaw, violinist Lara St. John, as well as the indie rock bands Gabriel and the Hounds, and Takka Takka. These works have been heard on NPR, CBC radio, and on numerous commercial recordings. Michael’s original compositions have been performed on recitals presented by International Contemporary Ensemble and the Manhattan New Music Project.  

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Michael holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from The Juilliard School.