Russian conductor and composer Yevgeny Svetlanov was born in Moscow on 6 September 1928. He studied piano at the Gnesin Institute, and then piano, composition and conducting at the Moscow Conservatoire. Heinrich Neuhaus, who taught him piano, was especially inspirational.
He worked as an assistant at the Bolshoi and was later principal conductor (1962-4). Following work with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, he became known in the West, conducting much in London, where his last concert was just a few days before his death, on 3 May 2002 in Moscow, aged seventy-three.