Pianist Derek Kealii Polischuk is assistant professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State University College of Music. Praised as a “consummate keyboard artist” and an “important young talent,” Polischuk’s performances have gained critical acclaim in California, throughout the Midwest, and in Hawaii at the Prince Albert Chamber Music Festival on the island of Kauai. A prizewinner in the Carmel International Piano Competition, the California International Young Artists Competition, and the Edith Knox Performance Competition, Polischuk has appeared as concerto soloist with the La Jolla Symphony, the Peninsula Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra. Polischuk’s performances have been broadcast on public radio in Michigan and California.
Born in San Diego, he studied with Krzysztof Brzuza before attending the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music where he received Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees with distinction under the tutelage of renowned piano pedagogue and concert artist Daniel Pollack. Upon his graduation from the Thornton School in 2006, Polischuk was awarded the keyboard department award for Most Outstanding Graduate.
An enthusiastic supporter of the education of young musicians, he has presented at meetings of piano teachers in the United States and Canada including the Music Teachers' National Association. He has been a judge of piano competitions across the Midwest, and has mentored young students who have become prizewinners in local and state piano competitions. Polischuk’s writing can be found in the keyboard journal Clavier. At Michigan State University, he has developed a stimulating piano pedagogy curriculum that is anchored by the teacher-training program “Pianoissimo” in which piano pedagogy students have the opportunity to hone their private and group piano teaching skills while working with underserved young pianists from the Greater Lansing area. During summer months, he teaches courses for the Michigan State University Office of Study Abroad, most recently in Quebec City.
Before joining the MSU faculty, Polischuk was instructor of piano at the University of Southern California and at Long Beach City College. He has presented at meetings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on church music improvisation, and is currently a musician on staff at River Terrace Church, a large Christian Reformed Congregation in East Lansing Michigan.
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