Anton Batagov (born October, 1965) is one of the most influential Russian composers and performers of our time. A graduate of Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory and prize-winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition (1986) and other competitions, Batagov introduced the music of Cage, Feldman, Reich, and Glass to Russian audiences. From 1989 to 1996 he was one of the leaders and organizers of the Alternativa new music festival in Moscow.
The post-Cagean philosophy of Batagov's projects eliminates any boundaries between "performance" and "composition" by viewing all existing musical practices—from ancient rituals to rock and pop culture and advanced computer technologies—as potential elements of performance and composition. The well-known American musicologist Richard Kostelanetz characterized Batagov's 1993 piano recording of Bach’s "The Art of the Fugue" as "the most stunning interpretation of Bach since Glenn Gould."
The post-minimalist language of Batagov’s compositions is rooted in the harmonic and rhythmic patterns of Russian church bells and folk songs seamlessly mixed with the spirit of Buddhist philosophy, the dynamic pulse of early Soviet avant-garde, and the unfading appeal of rock music. Batagov creates meditative canvases which evoke an image of Russian boundless fields and forests filled with the resonance of church bells. His works feature a unique sense of large-scale architecture and textured emotionalism.
Batagov's discography includes over 30 CD releases. He is the author of several movie soundtracks, and over 3.000 tunes for the major Russian TV channels.
In 1997 Batagov stopped performing live, and since then, he has been focusing on studio recordings. Most of his works written since the late 1990's are deeply influenced by Buddhist philosophy and practice. He has written a number of major works based on a keystone Buddhist texts chanted by Tibetan lamas as well as several large-scale instrumental compositions inspired by Buddhist teachings.
In 2009 Anton Batagov received the prestigious national Steppenwolf Award in the Best Music category.
In 2009, after twelve years of self-imposed exile from concert activities, Batagov returned to live performances.