• Honoured Artist of Russia • Prize-winner at the IV All-Union Conductor’s Competition (Moscow).
After graduating from the Leningrad Conservatoire in 1963 (specialising in choral conducting, class of Professor K.A. Olkhov) he worked as Chorus Master at the Buryatia Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 1971 he graduated from the Leningrad Conservatoire again (specialising in opera and symphony music conducting, class of Professor I.A. Musin). Under Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin he trained with the Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra. Subsequently, between 1971 and 1975, he directed the Leningrad Conservatoire’s chamber orchestra. From 1976 he regularly worked with various symphony orchestras throughout the Soviet Union, among them the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra and the Minsk and Kiev Philharmonic Orchestras. From 1978 to 2008 he was a conductor at the Musorgsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet (now the Mikhailovsky Theatre). With that company he performed in towns and cities in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. In 1994 he performed in towns throughout Germany with the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic Orchestra. As Musical Director at the Maly (Musorgsky) Theatre of Opera and Ballet he worked on productions of the opera Khovanshchina and Mikhail Chulaki’s ballet A Servant to Two Masters, as well as ballets by George Balanchine including Serenade to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Apollo to music by Igor Stravinsky. In Novi Sad in Serbia he staged a production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera May Night. As Music Director he has been involved in the Bolshoi Theatre’s revivals of Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s The Stone Guest, Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata and Gioacchino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mikhail Kukushkin’s repertoire includes almost thirty operas and symphonic instrumental works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Schnittke. Since 2008 Mikhail Kukushkin has been a professor of the faculty of opera and symphony conducting at the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire.