29 May 1936
Voronezh, Voronezhskaya oblast', Russian Federation
4 February 2019 (aged 82)
Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich Ovchinnikov (Вячеслав Овчинников, Voronezh, Russia, 29 May 1936 - 4 February 2019) was a Russian composer.
He began composing at age 9 and entered the Moscow Conservatory at 15. Later he studied with Tikhon Khrennikov and Lev Ginzburg. He composed symphonies, symphonic poems, as well as works for chamber orchestra, small ensembles and solo instruments.
Outside his native country he is best known as a composer of music for such films as War and Peace, the 1966–67 film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk, Ivan's Childhood and Andrei Rublev for Andrei Tarkovsky. He has composed for some 40 films in total. Tarkovsky is said to have been so impressed by Ovchinnikov that he stated: "I cannot imagine a better composer for myself than Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov."
Ovchinnikov also had a successful career as a touring conductor from the 1970s. He has recorded for Melodiya, the Russian record company. His Symphony No. 2 was released on the Melodiya label.
Ovchinnikov was named a People's Artist of Russia in 1986. For the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit of Thailand, he was commissioned to compose The Bouquet for the Queen. For that work he was awarded the Order of the White Elephant. He was also a professor at the University of Kansas from 1990 to 1991.
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