An outstanding composer, four-time winner of the State Prize, Eduard Artemiev is the author of many works in a variety of styles and genres. One of the pioneers of electronic music, a classic of Russian cinema, the creator of symphonic, choral works, instrumental concerts, vocal cycles. As the composer says, “the whole sounding world is my instrument.”
Artemiev was born in 1937 in Novosibirsk. He studied at the Moscow Choir School named after A. V. Sveshnikov. In 1960 he graduated from the theory and composition faculty of the Moscow Conservatory in the composition class of Yuri Shaporin and his assistant Nikolai Sidelnikov. Soon he was invited to the Moscow Experimental Electronic Music Studio under the direction of Evgeny Murzin, where he actively studied electronic music, and then made his film debut. Artemiev’s early electronic compositions, written during the period of studying the ANS synthesizer, demonstrate the capabilities of the instrument: the pieces “In Space”, “Starry Nocturne”, “Etude”. In his milestone work “Mosaic” (1967), Artemiev came to a new type of composition for himself – electronic sonor technique. This work has received recognition at the festivals of contemporary music in Florence, Venice, French Orange. And Artemiev’s composition “Three Views on the Revolution”, created for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, became a real discovery at the Bourges Electronic Music Festival.
The works of Eduard Artemiev in the 1960s and 70s belong to the aesthetics of the avant-garde: the oratorio on the verses of Alexander Tvardovsky “I was killed near Rzhev”, the symphonic suite “Round dances”, the suite for women’s choir and orchestra “Lubki”, the cantata “Free Songs”, a one-movement concerto for viola , music for the pantomime “For Dead Souls”. The mid-70s – the beginning of a new stage in his work: the symphony “Seven Gates to the World of Satori” appeared for violin, rock band and phonogram; electronic composition “Mirage”; a poem for a rock ensemble “The Man by the Fire”; cantata “Ritual” (“Ode to the Good Herald”) on verses by Pierre de Coubertin for several choirs, synthesizers, a rock band and a symphony orchestra, dedicated to the opening of the Olympic Games in Moscow; the vocal-instrumental cycle “Heat of the Earth” (1981, opera version – 1988), three poems for soprano and synthesizer – “White Dove”, “Vision” and “Summer”; symphony “Pilgrims” (1982).
In 2000, Artemiev completed work on the opera Raskolnikov based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment (libretto by Andrei Konchalovsky, Mark Rozovsky, Yuri Ryashentsev), which began back in 1977. In 2016 it was staged at the Musical Theater in Moscow. In 2014, the composer created the symphonic suite “Master”, dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the birth of Vasily Shukshin.
Author of music for more than 200 films. “Solaris”, “Mirror” and “Stalker” by Andrei Tarkovsky; “Slave of Love”, “Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano” and “A Few Days in the Life of I.I. Oblomov” by Nikita Mikhalkov; “Siberiade” by Andron Konchalovsky, “Courier” and “City Zero” by Karen Shakhnazarov are just a small list of his film works. Artemiev is also the author of music for more than 30 theatrical productions, including The Idiot and The Article at the Central Academic Theater of the Russian Army; “Armchair” and “Platonov” at the Theater under the direction of Oleg Tabakov; “The Adventures of Captain Bats” at the Ryazan Children’s Theater; “Mechanical piano” in the Teatro di Roma, “The Seagull” in the Paris theater “Odeon”.
Eduard Artemiev’s compositions have been performed in England, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Canada, the USA, Finland, France and Japan. For film music he was awarded four Nika awards, five Golden Eagle awards. He was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IV degree, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Shostakovich Prize, the Golden Mask Prize, the Glinka Prize and many others. People’s Artist of Russia. President of the Russian Association of Electroacoustic Music founded by him in 1990, member of the Executive Committee of the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music ICEM at UNESCO.