Russian composer and pianist Oleg Karavaichuk was born in Kyiv on 28 December 1927 into a musical family, and began writing music in early childhood. He studied at the Leningrad State Conservatory.
From 1953 he wrote film music, claiming that this was the only work not prohibited by the KGB.
He lived with his mother for many years on Vasilyevsky Island, where his extravagant appearance and behaviour became something of a local landmark and earned him the nickname 'mad composer'.
Oleg Karavaichuk died in St Petersburg on 13 June 2016, aged eighty-eight.