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Yuri Kasparov, born in 1955 in Moscow, is a Russian-Armenian composer, music teacher and a professor at the Moscow Conservatory where he had studied for his doctorate under Edison Denisov. Under the patronage of Denisov, he founded the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1990 and is its Artistic Director. He is the chairman of the Russian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. In 1978, Kasparov graduated from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute with a degree in Engineering. He graduated with a second degree in Music from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1984 and went on to complete his post-graduate studies there in 1991. Between 1985 and 1989, he worked for the Russian State Central Studio of Documentary Films as editor-in-chief for music.
Ensemble Modern, Radio France and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra have all commissioned works from Kasparov and his music has featured in the Tokyo Summer Festival, the Warsaw Autumn festival and Radio France's Festival Présences. His music has been recorded by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, and Ensemble Contrechamps of Switzerland, and has featured on CDs released on the Olympia and Harmonia Mundi labels. In 1985, his Symphony No. 1, Guernica, was awarded first prize in the All-Union competition in Moscow and in 1989, Ave Maria was awarded first prize in the Guido d'Arezzo competition. In 1996, Effet de nuit was awarded Grand Prix in the Henri Dutilleux competition. In 2007, Kasparov was awarded Honored Art Worker of Russia by order of the Russian President; in 2008, he was awarded Chevalier dans Lordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture of France.