People’s Artist of Russia
Born in Krasnodar into the family of musicians. In his childhood, he travelled a lot, as various opera and symphony orchestras would invite his father – an excellent violinist – to be a concertmaster. He received his first lessons from an illustrious Bolshoi Theatre conductor Alexander Gauk in Tbilisi, where the latter was evacuated during the 2nd World War. The lessons could not last for a long time – Alexander Kopylov went to the front soon.
Demobilized after the war, he entered the Yerevan Conservatory where he studied under an outstanding conductor and teacher Konstantin Saradjaev, a student of a legendary maestro Arthur Nikisch. While studying he played the bassoon in the orchestras of the Yerevan Philharmonic Society and the Spendiarov Opera and Ballet House.
Graduating from the Conservatory, he left for Novosibirsk, where he worked in the Philharmonic Society and then, for 9 years, in the Opera and Ballet House and the Conservatoir.
In 1962 the Bolshoi Theatre invited him for an audition and then to perform on the Bolshoi Ballet tour in the USA. Upon returning, he was accepted to the Bolshoi Theatre. During the 40 years in the theatre, his repertoir included 74 ballets (among them, all ballets by P. Tchaikovsky, S. Prokofiev, A. Khachaturyan, R. Shchedrin, T. Khrennikov, A. Glazunov, D. Shostakovich, L. Delibes, L. Minkus, I. Stravinsky, R. Glier), and he participated in staging most of them.
He performed with numerous foreign orchestras, was recorded by the “Melodia” company and on the radio. He has an extensive symphonic repertoir.
1983 – the title “Honoured Worker of Arts of the Republic of Uzbekistan” and the State Prize of the Republic.
1987 – the title “People’s Artist of Russia”.
Was awarded with the Order of the Badge of Honour, Order of the Red Banner of Labour, honoured diplomas and medals.
Today, he conducts the ballets in the Bolshoi Theatre: A. Adan’s “Giselle”, P. Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and “Nutcracker”, A. Glazunov’s “Raimonda”, L. Minkus’ “Don Quixote” and “La Bayadere”, L. Herold’s “La Fille Mal Gardee”