On April 9, 2020, the Russian composer Dmitri Smirnov died at the age of 71 in Watford, England, due to complications from COVID-19. He is survived by his wife Elena Firsova, also a Russian composer, and their children Alissa and Philip.In Russia, Smirnov was a student of Edison Denisov among others, and used serial methods to create works of great expressive beauty. In 1976, Smirnov won first prize in the Amsterdam Gaudeamus Competition for young composers; he and Firsova moved their family to Great Britain in 1991.
The poetry of William Blake, whose apocalyptic images and writings were the basis of Smirnov's opera Tiriel, also influenced his symphonic, vocal, and chamber music, including his Symphony No. 1, The Seasons.