Here he studied composition under Messner. On finishing the college he was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory, where he began to attend classes of Bogatyrev. His postgraduate study was under Tikhon Khrennikov and Lev Ginzburg. When still a student, Ovchinnikov wrote three symphonies, several symphony overtures, a symphonic poem "Festival", an overture "Russian Holiday", a rhapsody for symphony orchestra "Russian Songs" and many choral and instrumental pieces. His first symphony, performed in 1961 by the USSR Radio SO, conducted by Alexander Gauk, was a triumphal success. Ovchinnikov was steadily progressing as composer and the range of his musical interests extended from symphonies, chorals and chamber pieces to music for films.
He has composed for some 40 films in total. He put much effort in creating music to the film "War and Peace" directed by Sergei Bondarchuk, writing eleven hours of music to this film. In the west he is probably best known for his soundtracks for two of Andrei Tarkovsky's early films, "Ivan's Childhood" (1962) and "Andrei Rublev" (1966). Tarkovsky is said to have been so impressed by Ovchinnikov that he stated "I cannot imagine a better composer for myself than Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov." Today Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov is also known as a conductor.
Ovchinnikov projects in his compositions heroism and optimism, philosophical profundity and meditation, lofty dramatism and piercing lyricism and subtle poetry. He observes classical traditions, but is also an original innovator in the field of melody, harmonics and new forms. His music can be characterized as neoclassic with expressionistic passages. Read more on Last.fm.
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