Dr. Mischa Zupko

Composer-In-Residence; Composition Faculty
Music Theory Faculty
Program Area: 
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Mischa earned his Doctorate in Composition from Indiana University, with minors in Electronic Music and Theory in 2003. He also received a Master's in Composition from Indiana University in 1998, and a Bachelor's in Piano Performance from Northwestern University in 1994.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Several of Mr. Zupko's significant teachers and mentors include those with whom he did piano with, in addition to those who instructed him in composition. They include: Ramon Zupko, Phyllis Rappeport, Emilio del Rosario, and David Keiserman on piano, and Eugene O'Brien, Fred Fox, David Dzubay, Augusta Read Thomas, and Don Freund in composition.

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

Mr. Zupko's teaching philosophy is one that can only be explained in his own words;

"The art of teaching composition rests in perpetuating the curiosity that kindled the desire."

Awards and achievements: 

Dr. Zupko has had his fair share of incredible musical accomplishments throughout his life. To begin with, he received first place in the Pacific Symphony Orhcestra's 'AMERICAN COMPOSER'S COMPETITION', first place in the Loudon Symphony's American Composers Competition, the Lee Ettelson Composers AWard from Composers Inc., co-winner of the USA international Harp Competition Composition Contest, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards, and the 'First Music' award from the New York Youth Symphony, along with many other. His commissions include those from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the St. Olaf Symphonic Band, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, and the New York Youth Symphony. He has also had the opportunity to work with Cortina Productions in scoring a short film exhibit that exists as a permanent installation at the new Indiana State Museum and with the Lilly Company in producing musical demos to promote a new product.

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Dr. Zupko was also an ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) member from 2010-2011, Composer-in-Residence with Fulcrum Point New Music Project from 2008-present, Composer-in-Residence at Music Institute of Chicago from 2010 - present, Adjunct Faculty at DePaul from 2008 - present, Adjunct Faculty at Trinity Christin College from 2004 - present, and the Music Director at Lutheran Church of the Ascension. He has also conducted several ensembles, including the well-known Chicago Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and currently runs an innovative new program for young composers called the "Composer's Lab" at the Music Institute of Chicago.

Interests outside of music: 

Aside from the music world, Dr. Zupko likes to read Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels (especially to his son) and take Pilates classes on a weekly basis.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

At the moment, Dutilleux.

Favorite musical moment: 

Mahler 2 at the Pritzker Pavillion on a summer evening.