Misha Segal is an Israeli-born music producer and film composer.
Born in Haifa, Israel, 1953, weaned on jazz (thanks to his father, a boxing referee and jazz enthusiast, friend of Louis Armstrong), and raised in Tel Aviv, music called Misha from an early age. Yet, it wasn't until after his compulsory military service that he got his first piano and the opportunity to pursue music in earnest.
After studying music with composers Paul Ben-Haim, Noam Sheriff, and Isaac Sadai—-as well as film and philosophy at Tel Aviv University, Misha apprenticed under 20th-century master composer Dieter Schöhnbach in Germany; studied composition and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London; then graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Starting out, Misha was especially influenced by jazz, Elton John and The Beatles. His interpretation and application of these and other western music influences to the Israeli cultural scene in the late 1960s—as arranger, composer, songwriter, producer and recording artist—was vital in the redefinition of popular theatre and film music, garnering numerous #1 hits. Furthermore, his classically styled compositions were performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Ensemble. All this occurred at a young age (the media called him "The Wunderkind") over a short 5 years. He continues to do projects there, working with new and established recording artists as well as for film and theatre. He's currently attached to a Germany-Israel co-production—a very controversial film, which title and details will be announced soon.
Misha also enjoyed a successful career in New York, writing, arranging, orchestrating and producing for such artists as Luther Vandross ("Georgy Peorgy"), Maynard Ferguson, Nancy Wilson (jazz singer), Phyllis Hyman and Dave Grusin.
Upon moving to Los Angeles, he signed with Motown as a composer/songwriter, writing for their artists and scoring cult classic, Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon. The movie's love song, "First Time on a Ferris Wheel" has been a wedding favorite among American urbanites ever since.
Misha has created, composed and conducted scores in many different styles for a variety of feature films including the 1989 feature, The Phantom of the Opera, which received wide critical acclaim for its originality and scope and maintains a strong cult following; as well as the all time favorite kids' movie, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
Also to his credit are numerous movie scores for the small screen, which earned him an Emmy award and an Emmy nomination.
His work with up-and-coming film directors has encompassed everything from short films (Paul Ratner's King and Angel in the Rain featuring music available on Misha's Female CD) to the feature-length Un Secreto de Esperanza, Mexican film diva Katy Jurado's last movie.
AWARDS: Emmy Award (Andrea's Story ABC), Emmy Nomination (Look Away KCET), Brit Award (Phantom of the Opera), Israel Ophir (Israeli Oscar) Nomination (For My Father), Black Reel Award Nomination (Muz-loom)
As a recording artist, Misha's first CD, Zambooka, was endorsed by Quincy Jones and Bob James and featured artists Chick Corea and Freddy Hubbard. His next CD, Connected to the Unexpected, was picked up by over 200 college stations and enjoyed heavy rotation on the top NAC stations across the country. Don't Say It's Over, produced and co-written by Misha, features vocalist Randy Crawford. This CD spent three weeks at No. 1 on the NAC charts.
Scoring for film & television
Misha's filmography can be found on and (on the latter, you can also hear his composing sampler).
The Blue Lou and Misha Project - Highly Classified
The Blue Lou and Misha Project - Highly Classified is a contemporary jazz project with "Blue Lou" Marini. The recording features New York musicians Will Lee, John Tropea, and Anthony Jackson.
3-CD collaboration with "New Age Goddess", Diane Arkenstone, featuring on guitar and duet vocals. The first volume was released just a few weeks before Christmas, 2006.
Female and Lung Cancer Awareness Advocacy
The Red, White & Blue Female CD package, is Misha's latest solo release, a 3-CD piano collection of mostly improvised original music and cherished, familiar love songs. The style is described by fans as a cross between Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes and a laid back Keith Jarrett. Female is the core of Misha's Beauty Found in Unlikely Places concert series. The concerts and the music were inspired by his mother, a woman with an unbreakable spirit who died after a 6-year battle with lung cancer on Mother's Day 2001. Through these concerts, associated media interviews and Public Service Announcements, he forwards his mission of educating the public on lung cancer awareness issues and raising the quality of life of those fighting the biggest battle of theirs.
Misha performed at the inaugural , which raised over $120,000.00 for lung cancer research. This was an event of the .
A story Misha wrote about his mother, "Elisabeth" can now be found in an anthology called Voices of Lung Cancer, published by LaChance Publishing, benefitting The Healing Project .
Irina Sakne (soprano);