Piano Squall (born March 8, 1983) is the stage name of Michael Gluck, a concert pianist that performs music from video games and anime to fundraise for charity. He is best known as the first independent musician to release a video game and anime music piano solo album.
Michael Gluck was born in Hollywood, Florida. At the age of nine, he became fascinated with the music of Nobuo Uematsu
—a Japanese composer who wrote the soundtrack to the popular Final Fantasy
video game series. Gluck was so inspired by the music of Final Fantasy that he decided to study piano so that he could learn to play it. Because the availability of sheet music for video game soundtracks was extremely limited at the time, Gluck quickly developed the ability to translate what he was hearing in the game onto the piano by ear. Over the years, he continued to write down his original arrangements and ultimately created an extensive music library from a wide variety of video games and anime.
In 2003, Gluck gave his first public concert at Anime USA in Arlington, Virginia. As of 2008, Gluck had been a musical guest at more than thirty anime conventions, including Sakura-Con 06 and 07, A-Kon 06, and Otakon 05, where he performed for an audience of three thousand people. He continues to tour at conventions throughout North America.
In 2007, Gluck released his debut charity album, entitled GAME, which became the first video game and anime piano solo CD to be published by an independent musician. For creating GAME, Gluck was presented with a Special Recognition Award by video game composer Tommy Tallarico and the Game Audio Network Guild at the 2008 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.
In 2008, Gluck was employed by videogame publisher EA to create an orchestral arrangement of the Ultima Online main theme, which was featured in the official trailer entitled “Fall of Magincia”.
On his performance website, Gluck provides the sheet music of his original arrangements for free download.
On May 22nd, 2006, Michael’s grandmother, Betty Schifter, passed away after a forty year battle with multiple sclerosis
. Devastated by the news, Michael focused his efforts on fighting the disease by donating all revenue from concerts and a portion of all revenue from merchandise sales to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
. He has also held Benefit Concerts that have raised money for a wide variety of charities, including Baltimore Reads, The Matthew Foster Foundation, The Maryland Food Bank, and Tsunami Relief.