LEONID DESYATNIKOV (born in 1955) is one of the most original and widely performed among the Petersburgian composers. He is a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory and a member of the Composers Union. He has been a freelance composer since 1984.
Desyatnikov has penned four operas, several cantatas, and numerous vocal and instrumental compositions. The composer defines his style as “the emancipation of consonance, the transformation of the banal, minimalism with a human face”; his favorite genre is the “tragically naughty bagatelle”. His principal compositions include Rosenthal's Children (an opera in two acts; Vladimir Sorokin, libretto), Poor Liza (a chamber opera in one act; Leonid Desyatnikov, libretto, after the novella by Nikolai Karamzin; The Gift (a cantata based on the verses of Gavrila Derzhavin), The Leaden Echo (a piece for voice and instruments based on the verses of Gerard Manley Hopkins) and The Rite of Winter 1949 (a symphony for choir, soloists and orchestra).
Since 1996 Desyatnikov has worked closely with Gideon Kremer, both as a composer (Wie der Alte Leiermann, the chamber orchestra version of Sketches for “Sunset”, Russian Seasons and as an arranger of compositions by Astor Piazzolla). He has also composed the music for such films as Sunset, Lost in Siberia, Moscow Nights, Hammer and Sickle, Giselle's Mania, His Wife's Diary, The Prisoner of the Mountains and Moscow (Grand Prize, 4th Biennial Film Music Festival, Bonn, 2002).
“The Leaden Echo” (1991) to Gerard Manley Hopkins for countertenor and instruments is one of the most significant works among the composer's ones, for this is first vocal experiments in English. The manner of singing (so as the chosen voice) takes birth in the English music of the 16th century.