• People’s Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania (2022)
Zaurbek Gugkaev was born in Vladikavkaz. In 2004 he graduated from the Vladikavkaz School of Arts, and in 2011 from the St Petersburg Conservatory where he studied conducting under Professor Leonid Korchmar.
Has worked with various orchestras including the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra and the St Petersburg Children-Youth Philharmonic; he has also appeared with the Belarusian State Academic Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles. As a conductor he has featured in concerts of the St Petersburg House of Music as part of the projects Young Performers of Russia and Music of the Stars. From 2010 to 2015 he was Principal Conductor of the Mineralnye Vody Philharmonic (today the North-Caucasus State Safonov Philharmonic).
At the Mariinsky Theatre Gugkaev conducts operas from the classical European repertoire (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia) as well as from the Russian repertoire (Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Iolanta and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel) in addition to symphony concerts. He has conducted a number of Mariinsky Theatre premieres in recent seasons, among them Weinberg’s The Idiot, Klinichev’s The Cossacks, Banevich’s The Story of Kai and Gerda (2016), Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank, Butsko’s The Diary of a Madman and Shchedrin’s Not Love Alone (2017).
Zaurbek Gugkaev also conducts concert performances of operas in subscriptions of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers and appears at the theatre's branch in Vladikavkaz.