Katya Mihailova is a composer for film and media based in New York City. She is a British Academy Television Craft Awards (BAFTA) 2018 Original Score Nominee and a Film Composer Fellow at the Sundance Institute.
Coming from a background of classical piano and chamber music, Katya’s compositions ranges from solo piano to experimental electronic, from orchestral to folk, intuitively interacting with the visual element, and at times, contributing a necessary ingredient to storytelling.
Katya composed original scores and contributed her works to a number of documentaries, features and shorts. Notably: “Born Free”, a British-Russian documentary produced by twice-Oscar-nominated producer, Mike Lerner, for Channel 4 in Britain; “Russian Woodpecker”, a documentary by Chad Gracia that earned the Grand Jury prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival; “Living Legend”, a film by Alonso Llosa that premiered at the Hampton’s Film Festival in 2015 and has since been acquired by the HBO, “The Rain Collector” by Bella Wing-Davey that premiered at the London Short Film Festival in January 2016 — and many others.
Katya is originally from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In 2017, her musical score to “Song for the Nomad” directed and filmed by Ben Sturgulewski in Kyrgyzstan for DPS Cinematic won BEST SOUND at Kendal Mountain Film Festival.
She holds Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in piano performance. After taking a course in Music Technology at the Juilliard, Katya was chosen to become a composer fellow at the Sundance Music and Sound Design Lab 2016 at Skywalker Ranch under top industry composers Oswaldo Golijov and George S. Clinton.
Katya’s in-production projects include, “Sex in Soviet Union” a feature film by Chad Gracia, a National Geographic documentary about Jyrgalan by Noam Argov and Alex Pritz and short films “Round Right” by Sydney Buchan and “Warrior” by Gene Pina, which premieres at the Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2018.
Sundance Music Institute, Fellow
"Since an early age, I had an unrelenting case of synesthesia and a true love for cinematography and storytelling. My most meaningful musical inspiration comes from the narrative genre and visual atmosphere. Exploring non-traditional instruments like a mouth harp or a thumb piano, interweaving sound design elements with traditional string sounds, using “prepared piano” to sound like a percussion section of the orchestra — are just a few examples of musical explorations that stroke my curiosity and creativity as an artist."
Katya has been performing internationally for more than a decade and was awarded numerous prizes in North America, Russia and Central Asia. She received the Martha Lithmann Music Scholarship Award and Rotary Scholarship as well as the President’s Scholarship Award in her native country Kyrgyzstan to study music in the United States. Her debut performance in New York was with the Italian chamber orchestra Italiani Virtuosi. Performances included venues such as Weill Hall, WNYC public radio, Le Poisson Rouge, Wordless Music Series, Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, Ethical Culture Society, New York Public Library, Wordless Music Series and Trinity Wall Street among others. She performed more than two dozen performances at the renowned Bargemusic on Brooklyn's waterfront. She received her Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Arkady Aronov and attended numerous festivals such as Banff in Canada and Tanglewood in Massachusetts among others.
Katya is a dedicated performer of the contemporary repertoire and has premiered works of numerous contemporary composers solo and with neoLIT ensemble, which is especially devoted to performance of music written by women composers.