Yuri Kasparov

b. 1955



Born in 1955 in Moscow, Yuri Kasparov graduated from the Moscow Power Institute (1978), the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (1984) where he also took a postgraduate course with Edison Denisov (1991). Yuri Kasparov is a laureate of the All-Union Composers Competition (First Prize for the First Symphony ‘Guernica’, 1985), of the Guido d’Arezzo International Composers Competition in Italy (First Prize for Ave Maria, 1989), of the Henri Dutilleux International Composers Competition in France (Grand Prix for Effet de Nuit, 1996). In 1999 he received an honorable mention from the Accademia Musicale Pescarese (Italy) for Reminiscence. He is a member of the organizing committee of the Russian Association for Contemporary Music. In 1990 he founded the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, becoming its artistic director.


Yuri Kasparov, born on 8 June 1955, was awarded a diploma by the Energy Institute (1978) and by the Academy of Moscow (1984), his home town. This double training brought him to favor a rational, even scientific approach, of musical composition. In the manner of the painter Maurice Denis for whom, before representing objects, ‘a painting is only a plane surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order’, the composer never neglects the first reality of the music, the ‘acoustic fact‘: ‘sounds, with a certain volume, a certain colour and a certain duration‘. The various musical parameters - dynamic, colour, meter, rhythm, etc . - are for him similar to ‘coordinates in a space with no boundaries’ which unite and crystallise in the same "geometrical" shape.
The various periods and styles in music history are themselves understood as coordinates. Not through imitation, but by extracting what is permanent and inviolable from the works of the past. So, in his music, the classic relationship between dominant and tonic, between the stable and the unstable, and between tension and resolution, extends to all musical parameters. We are, however, very far from Socialist Realism and its artistic description of ‘reality’, still mandatory during the first years of the composer’s career.
Finally, for Kasparov, the work of timbre is vital, this craft developed during his extensive work film - the composer having a considerable experience composing and working as Artistic Director of the Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music which for years put him in daily contact with the best instrumentalists of Eastern Europe. Today, Youri Kasparov transmits this intimate knowledge of timbre to his students at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.