Born (1950) in Chelyabinsk, USSR. Studied (1970-1974) at the Moscow Conservatory; expelled twice for nonconformist attitudes. Graduated (1977) the Gnessin Musical Pedagogical Institute, class of professor Aram Khachaturyan; awarded diploma in composition & piano performance. Graduated (1979) the Leningrad Conservatory; awarded PhD in composition. Taught (1977-1981) composition class at the Leningrad and Sverdlovsk Conservatories. Toured Russia and abroad (US, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Spain, France) performing piano. Recorded Chopin on CD with «Cromwell Productions" (UK). Laureate (1991) of the First Prokofiev International Composers Competition. Awarded title (1995) of the Honored Artist of Russia. Awarded (1999) the Golden Pushkin Medal.
The compositions of Vladimir Ryabov display quite a few original and highly significant tendencies inherent in music of the past two decades. The young composer's personal style was taking shape during the hard seventies, a time when a work of art with a lofty spiritual message was sure to call forth adverse criticism or remain unperformed. Despite the unpropitious external circumstances, Vladimir Ryabov, a student of Aram Khachaturyan, showed from the outset a marked preference for profound subjects with high ethical implications. His inborn tact and cultivated taste and his appreciation of the Russian and foreign musical traditions kept Ryabov succumbing to the dictates of the times.
His musical idiom is based on a universal technique combining the achievements of past epochs — in the composer's own words, "a single style of broad spectrum", a fusion of the folklore, the Orthodox sacred music and the neoromantic traditions. His guiding stars in music are Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov (the latter has exercised a very strong influence on Ryabov's development). Sergei Prokofiev has sharpened Ryabov's sense of genre and feeling for thematic characterization while Nikolai Medtner and Anatoly Alexandrov have fostered in him what he calls a "Russian-German" approach to music.
“Vladimir Ryabov's music is strikingly beautiful. His works with their rare combination of philosophical profundity and tense, near-romantic emotionality are distinguished by original concepts, significant ideas and expert craftsmanship. ”
— ARAM KHACHATURYAN, COMPOSER