Russian conductor Mark Ermler was born in Leningrad on 5 May 1932. He was an early starter, learning the piano from age five, beginning to conduct when he was sixteen and making his debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic whilst still a conservatoire student.
He conducted many orchestras throughout Europe and Japan, and recorded various complete operas for EMI. He was also known for his ballet conducting, and for leading the first performances of Prokofiev's final opera, The Story of a Real Man.
Mark Ermler died on 14 April 2002, aged sixty-nine, in Seoul, South Korea, whilst rehearsing the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.