The Rusiian-born American pianist, organist, composer, teacher and writer, Misha V. Stefanuk, started playing piano at the age of 5. He studied at the Special German School in Moscow (1974-1984); Moscow Childrenís Music School in Moscow (1974-1980). He then studied Theoretical Nuclear Physics and Applied Math at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in Moscow (1984-1985). In 1986 he graduated from Moscow College of Improvised Music as a jazz pianist and ensemble leader, with Certificate in Improvisation. He also studied at the Moscow Conservatory School, obtaining Bachelor of Music in Musicology in 1992; Russian Academy of Music, Department of Composition in Moscow (1990-1992; as a student of Kirill Volkov, Aram Khachaturianís assistant and Dmitry Blum), He moved to the USA, where he studied at the Summer School of Skidmore Jazz Institute in Saratoga Springs, New York (1995); Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, graduating in Composition (1995-1996); Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, obtaining Bachelor of Music in Composition in May 1995; Boston University, obtaining Master of Music in Music Education in May 2007. In the USA he studied with
Gregg Yasinitsky, Charles Argersinger and Frank Mantooth.
Misha Stefanuk was a prize-winner of the Stereotypes and Nations Composition Competition held by Muzica Centrum Art Society in Cracow, Poland for his composition Equinokse for oboe, string trio and prepared piano (May 1993), and of the Concerto Aria Composition Competition at Belmont University for his piece The New American Symphony (March 1994). He was also named Outstanding Piano Player at the l29th Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (February 1997), and has won full scholarships at Belmont University, Washington State University (1993, 1994), and Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute (June 1995).
Misha Stefanuk appears as a classical pianist and organist and a jazz pianist. Since 2002, he has held the position of organist and pianist at Winters Chapel United Methodist Church. He also often performs with a variety of singers and jazz groups. His performance experience varies from performing organ music for the award-winning ABC program, All My Children, to performing with Magdalena Wor at the Russian embassy in Washington DC. He feels comfortable in just about any musical style possible! He has released over twenty CDís varying from Contemporary Classical to Jazz, including a recording of J.S. Bachís Inventions (BWV 772-786).
Since 2007 Misha Stefanuk is also Musical Director and composer for The New Opera of Atlanta, dedicated to produce new operas written in English and for contemporary audience. For this company he has performed all instrumental tracks and live musical accompaniment, with productions and CD recordings of his operas An American Story: George Gershwin, Wolfy, The Kitty Who Lost Her Meow and The True Story of Wolf and Red Riding Hood.
Misha Stefanuk composed his first piece when he was 9. He has written more then 130 works for a variety of instrumentations, as well as music for over thirty theater shows, including an original score for Y2K Survival Guide with Leonard Nemoy. He has composed a significant amount of music for network television, including programs such as Good Morning America, All My Children, Lincoln High and One Life to Live (ABC), Passions (NBC), The Chris Isaak Show (Showtime) Young and the Restless and First Monday (CBS), and DVD release of Laverne and Shirley.
Misha Stefanuk began teaching piano and composition in 1986, in his then home city of Moscow, Russia. He now lives in East Cobb (Marietta, GA) with his wife, Evan Marie Dozier-Stefanuk, soprano and voice and piano teacher, and his son, Michael Wolfgang Stefanuk (and a variety of animals). Misha teaches in the metro Atlanta area. His private studio consists of approximately 70 students.
His teaching philosophy is based on a classical, European approach to piano teaching, while he also teaches his students how to play contemporary and more familiar and popular music, how to compose and improvise, and how to better understand the history and technology of music. During his career as a teacher, Misha has composed a great deal of music, which proves to be very advantageous for piano study. Misha and his wife, Evan, teach over one hundred students at Johnson Ferry Conservatory of Music in Atlanta Georgia and privately. Among them are recording artists, TV personalities, winners of national and regional competitions, and teachers. Misha's students attended a number of prestigious music schools in the USA, and abroad. Two of the first-place winners for the 2009 Georgia Reflections Composition Competition were Misha's private students.
Misha Stefanuk is also an experienced adjudicator, having judged the Chopin Young Artist Piano Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs and various local auditions.
Misha tefanuk was a monthly columnist for Creative Keyboard and served as adjudicator at the Chopin Youth Piano Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2004-2006. He has been a best-selling author with Mel Bay publications since 2000. Among his 19 books are the Mel Bay Publications best-sellers Jazz Piano Chords (nr.1 in Jazz Piano since 2002), Jazz Piano Scales, Jazz Piano for the Young Beginner, Jazz Piano Album, Step By Step, How to Improvise Classical Music on Piano and Piano for Adults.