Born in Sofia in 1963, Mischa Damev is of Franco-Bulgarian descent. He received his first music lessons from his grandfather Michael Lefterov, a famous Bulgarian conductor. At the age of ten, Mischa Damev moved with his family to Switzerland. He completed his piano studies in 1986 at the Basel Academy of Music (solo diploma) before perfecting his training with Alexis Weissenberg in Paris and Nikita Magaloff in Geneva.
From 1990 to 1999, Mischa Damev was Artistic Director of the Orpheum International Festival for Young soloists in Zurich. From 1992 to 2007, he led the recital series and the “Art and Culture” programme at the Lilienberg Foundation in Ermatingen/TG. In 2000, he was appointed Trustee of the London International Master Prize Competition for Contemporary Symphonic Music".
Following the advice of his mentor Mariss Jansons, Mischa Damev abandoned his career as a concert pianist in 1991 to study conducting intensively with Karl Österreicher in Vienna. After a promising debut with the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra and the Sofia Opera, he worked for several years as an assistant to Georges Prêtre and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
Mischa Damev has since conducted many prestigious orchestras such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra di San Carlo in Naples, the Orchestra della Fondazione Toscanini in Parma, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Bulgarian National Orchestra, the Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia Roma, the Sinfonica Siciliana Palermo, the Orchestra del Teatro della Fenice, the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, to name but a few.
During the 2004/2005 season, Mischa Damev shared the rostrum with Georges Prêtre for productions of “Carmen” at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and “Pelléas et Mélisande” at La Scala di Milano. Between 2006 and 2009, he enjoyed a close collaboration with composer Jon Lord (of the rock group Deep Purple) on various European stages.
Switching to the private sector, Mischa Damev became CEO of the Lilienberg Entrepreneur Forum in Ermatingen/TG in 2006. The following year, he was appointed Head of Music at the Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs of the Migros Cooperative Federation in Zurich.