Born in Vladivostok, a city in the Russian Pacific Coast, Mikhail began studying classical piano at age 7 and was soon improvising and composing his own music. At age 8 he joined the class of professor Mary Kalman at the Prokofiev Music School and soon became a frequent participant in school’s concerts and competitions. By 12 years old, Mikhail was taking jazz piano lessons from pianist/composer Alexandr Belenko. At 15, Mikhail joined the production team at Vladivostok's New Wave Radio, becoming the youngest employee at the station, and worked as a part-time jingle writer for over two years. In 1998, Mikhail wrote a number of cues for New Wave’s new television channel. In 1995, Mikhail enrolled in Vladivostok Music College, where he studied for two years. In 1997, auditioned by famous Russian musicians Igor Bril and Yury Saulsky, Mikhail moved to Moscow, joining Bril's jazz piano class and Saulsky’s composition class at the ‘Ordynka’ jazz college (officially named GMUEDI, former Gnesin Music College jazz department). In November 1998, Mikhail won the Third Place at the Jazz Improvizacija piano competition in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1999, Mikhail graduated from the College with Honors earning a Degree in Jazz & Classical Piano Performance, Band Leadership, Arranging and Sound Engineering. In April 1999, Mikhail received a Special Prize from the Russian Academy of Composers and a Diploma at the Christal Pitchfork (Krustalny Kamerton) Young Composers’ Competition for his original composition. In spring 2000, Mikhail participated in Berklee World Scholarship Tour in Helsinki, Finland, and was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. Later in the year, Mikhail received an additional scholarship after Berklee’s BEST audition for music writers and in January 2001 began his first semester at Berklee. In fall 2001, Mikhail received Honorable Mention from the Billboard 10th Annual Song Contest for two of his compositions. In January 2002, three of Mikhail’s compositions were published in a lead sheet compilation “Jazz Melodies of Moscow”, compiled by renowned music theorist and composer Yury Chugunov. The book is distributed nationally in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union. In April 2002, Mikhail won BMI Foundation’s Pete Carpenter Fellowship competition and spent six weeks in Hollywood studying with the legendary TV composer Mike Post (multi-Grammy award winning writer of some of the most memorable theme songs in television history, including Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Magnum P.I., The Rockford Files, The A-Team, L.A. Law, Quantum Leap and City of Angels). The Fellowship is one of the most competitive international awards for young aspiring TV and film composers. While at Berklee, along with jazz piano, improvisation and composition, Mikhail also explored music production and songwriting. In early 2004, artist Andrea Capozzoli, produced by Mikhail, was named Artist of the Year in the R&B category at New York International Music Festival. In December 2003, Mikhail graduated from Berklee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music. At Berklee, among other outstanding professors, Mikhail studied with world-renowned Grammy-winning musicians Joe Lovano and Dave Samuels. In Spring 2004, Mikhail won the 3d place at BMI’s John Lennon Scholarship competition for songwriters in New York. The judges that year included Grammy-winning producer Russ Titelman (George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, James Taylor, etc.) and hit Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn. In June of the same year Mikhail received the award from BMI and Yoko Ono, personally. In spring 2006, Mikhail graduated at the Gnesin Academy of Music (class of professor Igor Bril and Alexandr Oseichuk) in Moscow, with a Degree in Jazz and Classical Piano Performance, Band Leadership and Music Education. In fall 2007, Mikhail produced a jingle package for Tokyo’s #1 Radio Station 81.3 FM J-WAVE, featuring EMI Music Group recording artists Raul Midon and Dave Koz, Universal Music Group recording artist Mindi Abair and Razor & Tie recording artist Kelly Sweet. Mikhail’s teaching experience goes back to Boston and his work as a student private piano instructor at Berklee, helping entry-level piano students improve their skills. As well as working as a piano teacher at numerous music schools in and around Boston. Mikhail holds a Degree in Music Education from the prestigious Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Since August 2007, Mikhail is a Yamaha-endorsed artist.
Mr. Mikhail Tarasov has joined the faculty of the Piano School of NYC in 2009.