Born in 1955 in Ukraine, Leonid Desyatnikov studied at the Leningrad Conservatory where he quickly specialized in composition and instrumentation. His works – particularly extensive, including four operas, several cantatas, various symphonic pieces and film music – have been awarded numerous prizes, including the Russian State Prize in 2003.
Since 1996, Desyatnikov has collaborated regularly with Gidon Kremer, for whom he has written several works, including Wie der alte Leiermann for violin and piano, Scenes de crépuscule for chamber orchestra and Saisons russes, as well as various arrangements such as Les Quatre Saisons de Buenos Aires, after Astor Piazzola. Writing in a style similar to that of minimalism, Leonid Desyatnikov does not, however, claim to be a part of any particular composition movement, always following his own inspiration to produce what he describes as “tragically nuanced songs”. His music is now played all over the world and heard in many of the biggest venues.