Biography

Misha Galant is a senior 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. Throughout high school, Misha also received invaluable guidance and inspiration from Sharon Mann and Yoshikazu Nagai of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 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 spans three generations of pianists, including his great-grandmother, who, along with Vladimir Horowitz, was a student of Maria Yudina, and his great-grandfather, who studied with Heinrich Neuhaus in Kiev, Ukraine.

Prior to entering college, Misha won every single competition he entered in 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 had the opportunity to perform with the Rochester Philharmonic and was offered a four-year full tuition scholarship to the Eastman School of Music. Misha was the California 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 numerous orchestras across America, the first of which was the Oakland East Bay Symphony, with whom he performed Chopin’s First Concerto when he was thirteen years old. In his senior year of high school, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto 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. As a winner of the PianoTexas concerto competition, Misha performed Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the  Fort Worth Symphony in June of 2018.

Misha gave his first full solo recital at the age of twelve 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.

Misha is a member of the Music Students’ Service League in Contra Costa County, an outreach program that gives benefit concerts in retirement communities. He finds joy and fulfillment in volunteer work that brings music to the elderly, underprivileged, and sick. In addition to his musical and academic endeavors, Misha is also a member of the Columbia University swim team, a D1 team that trains nine times per week. In his (limited) free time, Misha enjoys reading, hiking, eating, traveling, and playing chamber music with his friends.