Misha Galant and Maxim Lando Named 2020 Gilmore Young Artists
Two young American pianists, Misha Galant and Maxim Lando, have been named recipients of the 2020 Gilmore Young Artist Award. The Awards were announced today by Pierre van der Westhuizen, Director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards, which conducts and funds the Gilmore Artist Award program. Mr. Galant and Mr. Lando will each receive a $15,000 stipend to further their musical careers and educational development, as well as $10,000 towards the commissioning of a new piano composition for which the artist will have exclusive performance rights for one year. They will also give solo recitals and orchestral performances during the 2020 Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo-April 22 through May 10.
The Gilmore officially presents Young Artist Awards to Mr. Galant and Mr. Lando on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. ET hosted by longtime supporter Steinway & Sons at New York's Steinway Hall. In addition to being honored at this event, each artist also performs selected works, with Mr. Galant playing pieces by Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich, and Mr. Lando performing the music of Tchaikovsky, Busoni, Lyapunov, Scriabin, Kapustin, and Led Zeppelin-the latter in a transcription by the pianist. The entire evening may be live-streamed online for free via The Gilmore and Steinway & Sons Facebook pages, as well as at TheGilmore.org.
Founded along with the Gilmore Artist Award in 1989, the Gilmore Young Artist Awards are bestowed every two years to single out the most promising of the new generation of pianists living in the United States, age 22 and younger. Candidates for the Award are nominated by music professionals from around the world. Those nominated are evaluated for their pianism and musical promise by a six-member artistic committee over an extended period of time. The process is carried out anonymously, and candidates are unaware of their own consideration. Among the now 36 pianists who have received the Gilmore Young Artist Award are Jonathan Biss, Kirill Gerstein, Daniel Hsu, George Li, Yuja Wang, and Orion Weiss.
Regarding these first awards of his Gilmore directorship, Pierre van der Westhuizen said:
"In Misha Galant and Maxim Lando, we see the combination of talent and ambition so essential to the careers of all great artists, and which the Gilmore Young Artist Award was envisioned to support and nurture. All of us at The Gilmore are delighted with their selection, and for me it was especially memorable to experience for the first time the joy of presenting an award that comes as a complete surprise to the recipient. We thank our friends at Steinway for the opportunity to introduce Misha and Maxim as Gilmore Young Artists this fall at Steinway Hall. It will be a pleasure to share their artistry and to watch their careers develop in the years ahead."
Born in Hayward, CA in 1997, Misha Galant began piano lessons at the age of six and continued to study for 12 years with his mother, Olya Katsman. Throughout high school, he also received guidance and coaching from Sharon Mann and Yoshikazu Nagai of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is currently a senior at Columbia University, studying piano through the Columbia-Juilliard Program while also pursuing degrees in Data Science and Russian Literature. He studies with Joseph Kalichstein at the Juilliard School and with Yu-Jane Yang at Weber State University in Ogden, UT.
Mr. Galant gave his first full solo recital at age 12 and made his orchestral debut at age 13 performing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. He has since performed with such orchestras as the Fort Worth Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and the California Youth Symphony, joining the latter on tour in Austria and Italy for performances of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. He has also won numerous awards at piano competitions, including multiple prizes in 2015 at the first Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and at the Eastman Young Artists International Competition, the latter resulting in a four-year, full-tuition scholarship offer to attend the Eastman School of Music. He is a two-time winner of the Music Teachers' Association of California's concerto competition and was inducted into the organization's selective Young Artist Guild, through which he performs frequently as a recitalist around California.
Additionally, Mr. Galant is an active chamber musician, and he also performs benefit concerts for retirement communities as a member of the Music Students' Service League, an outreach program in Contra Costa County, CA. Beyond his musical and academic endeavors, he enjoys hiking and traveling and is a member of the Columbia University swim team, a D1 team that trains twenty hours per week.
Born in Manhasset, NY in 2002, Maxim Lando began playing the piano at three-and-a-half years old and soon began to appear in concert, including at Carnegie Hall, where he first performed at the age of six. At age 11, he entered Juilliard Pre-College, where he continues to study with Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone, and became a scholar-now alumnus-of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. He has also studied and performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Oxford Piano Festival, and Music Fest Perugia.
Since his orchestral debut at age 14 performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Mr. Lando has appeared as a soloist with the Israel and Moscow Philharmonics and the Russian National Orchestra, as well as with orchestras across the U.S. and Europe. Together with Lang Lang and Chick Corea, he performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at Carnegie Hall's 2017 Opening Night Gala, and subsequent duo performances with Lang Lang include concerts with the Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphonies and China NCPA Orchestra. During the 2019-20 season, he returns to the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and also makes his debuts with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
Winner of First Prize at the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Lando recently joined the roster of Young Concert Artists and is preparing for his upcoming New York recital debut at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and his Washington, DC, recital debut at The Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. Previous solo and chamber engagements include performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
Additional competition prizes include a Gold Medal at the 2017 Berliner International Music Competition and the Audience Award at the 2016 Musical Olympus Foundation Festival at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. Mr. Lando has been featured on CNN's Best of Quest, NPR's From the Top, BBC Radio 4, and WQXR.