Born in Oufa, in the Soviet Republic of Bashkiria, Vladimir Spivakov studied the violin with Yuri Yankelevich, a famous professor at the Moscow Conservatory, and later with his idol David Oistrakh, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century. Already as a young musician, Vladimir Spivakov won several prizes at important international contests, such as the Marguerite Long – Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (1965), the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1967), the Montreal International Competition (1969) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1970).
Vladimir Spivakov has released more than forty albums both as soloist and conductor. His recordings (most made for BMG Classics) reflect different musical styles and eras, ranging from the European baroque to the works of 20th century composers including Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Penderecki, Schnittke, Pärt, Kancheli, Shchedrin and Gubaidulina.
Until 1997 Mr. Spivakov played a violin by Francesco Gobetti, which was a gift by Professor Yankelevich. Since 1997 he has been playing a Stradivari, which is being loaned to him for life.