Mikle Kriz


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Mikhail's earliest exposure to music was as a little boy watching his father conduct the Army's orchestra and choir during rehearsal. Little Mikhail would sit quietly and happily in the large, empty auditorium for hours transfixed on his father performing what seemed to him to be magic...
Inspired by an environment rich in Country and Bluegrass music, at age nine Mikhail picked up his fist instrument, the four string domra, a mandolin like Russian string instrument in the lute family. Having adequately mastered this instrument at age ten Mikhail gave his first public concert performance. From there he went on to perform at various other public venues. At age eleven, Mikhail wanted to play the violin but was informed that it was too late in life for him to learn. Undaunted, Mikhail went in search of a comparable or perhaps even superior sounding instrument to the violin. This lead him to the guitar which offered him greater flexibility to express his passion through the wide variety of sounds the guitar has to offer. This is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in his classical piece “Deepest Water”. After two years in the Russian Air Force, Mikhail studied in Conservatory as Orchestra Conductor. There he learned to “play on all instruments that comes across under a hand”. Of these instruments, Mikhail set out to conquer the piano, both fretted and fretless bass, mandolin, banjo and diatonic scale harmonica. And he has done just that, the guitar still his chief instrument of achievement. In the 1990’s Mikhail wrote scores for a number of short movies in the classical genre. Between 2009 an 2010 Mikhail placed first three times and top ten five times on Ourstage, one of the Internet’s largest music competition venues. Mikhail enjoys painting his musical canvas with all the colors of the palette. He does not like to observe the boundaries of genre. Rather, he prefers to “mix styles and make from this a cocktail” which gives him greater creative latitude. He draws his inspiration for writing from life’s experiences from birth to departure with all the joys and suffering in between. Ultimately, Mikhail feels that his writing comes from a greater source than himself. Mikhail has, at least for now, retired from live performance preferring the magic of the studio with his focus on writing film and television scores. Mikhail prefers to work mostly on his own. When he does collaborate it is almost exclusively with his American older brother, closest friend and talent representative, Trabue Gentry.

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