Russian conductor Pavel Sorokin was born in Moscow into a musical family and studied piano and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. He began work as a ballet pianist for the Bolshoi Theatre in 1983 and in 1987 received a scholarship to attend the Conservatoire de Paris. In 1989, he became an apprentice to Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. Later that same year, he was appointed a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre, with which he continues to maintain a rich and collaborative relationship. At the Bolshoi, he has conducted many ballets, including Petrushka, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, Swan Lake, The Bright Stream and The Bolt, and in 1996 served as assistant conductor to Mstislav Rostropovich in a production of Khovanshchina. He was appointed chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Russia in 2003.
Sorokin is the permanent guest conductor of the Royal Ballet (in Covent Garden). He made his debut there in 2007, conducting Swan Lake. He has since conducted regularly for the company, with a repertoire that includes Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Carmen, The Nutcracker, Serenade, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Jewels. Other engagements at the Royal Opera House include conducting the Bolshoi Ballet’s performances of Spartacus, Giselle and The Flames of Paris there.
Sorokin’s engagements around the world have extended to performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Opéra National de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Teatro Colón and the Mikhailovsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. His wide discography includes highlights from The Nutcracker with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (Master Performers) and works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Grieg. In 1998 he was made an Honoured Artist of Russia.