Gabriel Merrill-Steskal

Pianist Gabriel Merrill-Steskal is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan, where he studies with Logan Skelton. As a performer, he has won awards in international competitions on both piano and fortepiano (2022 Seattle International Piano competition; 1st SFZP International Fortepiano Competition), and recently was a fellow at the Gilmore piano festival. Before turning to music full-time, he completed his undergraduate degree with a double major in music and chemistry, graduating summa cum laude from Whitman College, where he studied piano with David Hyun-Su Kim.

In addition to performance activities as a soloist and chamber musician, Gabriel is an active teacher and scholar. He has extensive experience playing fortepiano, which he studies with Matthew Bengtson, and he is also interested in 18th and 19th century performance practice. A thoughtful pedagogue of both piano and music theory, Gabriel is currently a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan, teaching class piano and private lessons to undergraduate students. His most recent research project involves studying prolongational aspects of folk-based pitch structures in Bartók’s music. Aside from all things piano, he enjoys spending time outside running and rock climbing.