Misha Galant is a junior in the Columbia University and Juilliard School Exchange in New York City, where he is simultaneously studying piano and pursuing degrees in Data Science and Russian Literature. He began piano lessons at the age of six and continued for 12 years with his mother, Olya Katsman. Currently, he studies with Matti Raekallio at the Juilliard School and with Dr. Yu-Jane Yang at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Misha’s musical heritage includes three generations of pianists, including his great-grandmother who was a student of Maria Yudina along with Vladimir Horowitz, and his great-grandfather who studied with Heinrich Neuhaus in Kiev, Ukraine.
His accomplishments include first prizes in the Marylin Mindell Piano Competition, the Ross Mckee Piano Competition, the Pacific Musical Society competition, the San Jose International Piano Competition, and the Henry & Carol Zeiter piano competition at UOP, along with numerous other local competitions. He was the state winner in the 2010 MTAC concerto competition and again in 2015, when he was inducted into the selective Young Artist Guild. Misha has performed with several orchestras, including the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Peninsula Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Livermore-Amador Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Santa Rosa Youth Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony. In November 2015, he performed the complete Third Concerto of Rachmaninoff with the California Youth Symphony and joined that orchestra on a tour of Austria and Italy in the following summer with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
In June 2010, at the age of 12, he gave his first full solo recital in Mountain View and has been performing regularly since then. As a member of the Young Artist Guild, he is in great demand as a recitalist around California.
In the summer of 2015, he was a prizewinner in the first Van Cliburn Junior competition in Fort Worth, Texas, garnering the Best Classical Sonata Performance and Audience prizes. He also won Third and Audience prizes at the Eastman Young Artists International Competition for which he was offered a four-year full tuition scholarship to the Eastman School of Music.
Misha transferred high schools in his junior year, but continued to serve as an accompanist for both of his schools’ choirs. He is also a member of the Music Students’ Service League in Contra Costa County, an outreach program that gives benefit concerts in retirement communities. In his spare time, Misha enjoys playing chamber music, swimming, reading, hiking, eating, and performing to raise funds for various volunteer organizations.
Misha is indebted to Sharon Mann and Yoshikazu Nagai of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for their invaluable and inspirational coaching.