Vladimir Spivakov is famous in Russia as one of the eminent violinists, the founder and conductor of Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra and as a new Principal conductor and Music Director of Russian National Orchestra, established by Mikhail Pletnev. Spivakov is world famous for his brilliant performances as recitalist, guest soloist and guest conductor of leading orchestras throughout the world and for his humanistic activities. He played with a great number of orchestras, under Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini.
Vladimir Sivakov studied with Veniamin Sher at the music school of the Leningrad Conservatory (1956-1960), and with Yuri Yankelevich at the Moscow Conservatory (graduated, 1967). He also received instruction in conducting. While still in his 20-ties, he won prizes in several competitions, including the prestigious Long-Thibaud in Paris (3rd, 1965), the Gene Paganini in Genoa (2nd, 1967), the Montreal (1st, 1969), and the Tchaikovsky in Moscow (2nd, 1970).
In February 1975, Vladimir Sivakov made his New York debut. In 1979 he made his debut as a conducter with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. at the Ravinia Festival. Soon after that, in the same year, he founded the Moscow Virtuosi, with which he appeared both as violinist and conductor throughout the world, and which quickly became one of the world leading chamber orchestras. Moscow Virtuosi, group originally made of Russia's international prize winners, very rapidly gained a sound international reputation, giving more than 120 concerts a year throughout the world. In 1989 he was appointed as Artistic Director of the Colmar International Festival in France, which has since become one of Europe's leading music festivals.
In May 1994 Vladimir Spivakov established the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation to support young talented musicians, painters and dancers in Russia. Since its inception 500 young musicians have received support, in a form of musical instruments, art supplies and ballet equipment in addition to receiving an academic education. The Spivakov Project also provides medical care for critically ill children and wheelchairs for disabled young people.. He has worked on behalf of victims of the Stalin regime and children who suffered from the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.
Vladimir Spivakov has made more than 20 recordings for the BMG/RCA Red Seal label of works ranging from J.S. Bach, Haydn and Mozart to Dmitri Shostakovich, Schnittke and Rodion Shchedrin. Also for RCA Red Seal, he has recorded concertos by Johannes Brahms, Prokofiev, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.
Vladimir Spivakov has been decorated with Russia's highest prize, the National Cultural Heritage Award, and is Ambassador of the Arts for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On his birthday, September 12 1994, Russia's International Observatory named after him a star - "Spivakov". In 1999, France officially recognized his contribution to the influence of music and culture by awarding him the title of "Officier des Arts et des Lettres" (Officer of Arts and Letters).