Born in Moscow into a family of famous Bolshoi Theatre artists — the singer Tamara Sorokina and the dancer Shamil Yagudin. In 1985, he completed his studies with distinction at the piano department (Lev Naumov’s class) of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, and in 1989, also with distinction, he graduated from the Conservatoire’s department of opera-symphony conducting (Yury Simonov’s class).
In 1983, Pavel Sorokin joined the Bolshoi Theatre as ballet accompanist. From 1987-89, he was a probationer at the Paris Conservatoire, perfecting his conducting skills in the class of Professor Jean-Sebastien Berreau. In summer 1989, he took part in the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Tanglewood Festival. He worked on probation with the BSO under the leadership of Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein. At the end of his term as probationer (he got an excellent certificate and was given the opportunity of giving a concert at a prestigious American venue), he auditioned for the Bolshoi Theatre and was accepted into the Company.
At the Bolshoi Theatre he has conducted the following productions: Iolanta (1997); — and the ballets: Petroushkaby Stravinsky (1991), Adam’s Le Corsaire (1992, 1994), Prokofiev’s Prodigal Son (1992), Lovenskjold’sLa Sylphide (1994), Swan Lake (a revival of Yury Grigorovich’s first version, 2001), Arik Melikov’s A Legend of Love (2002), Glazunov’s Raymonda(2003), Shostakovich’s The Bright Stream(2003) and Bolt (2005), Asafiev’s The Flames of Paris (2008).
In 1996, he was assistant to Mstislav Rostropovich when the latter directed a production of Mussorgsky’sKhovanshchina(Shostakovich version) at the Bolshoi. When Maestro Rostropovich stopped conducting this production himself, he handed it over to Pavel Sorokin.
The conductor’s repertoire also includes the operas: Ivan Susanin by Glinka, The Oprichnik, The Maid of Orlenas,Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spadesby Tchaikovsky, Prince Igorby Borodin, Khovanshchinaby Mussorgsky (Rimsky-Korsakov version), The Tsar’s Bride, Mozart and Salieri, The Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov,Francesca da Riminiby Rachmaninov, Betrothal in a Monastery and The Gamblerby Prokofiev, Il Barbiere di Sivigliaby Rossini, La Traviata, Un Ballo in Maschera, Macbeth by Verdi; and the ballets: Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, Shostakovich’s The Golden Age, Schnittke’s Sketches, Giselle, Chopiniana; and symphonic works.
From 2000-02, Pavel Sorokin was chief conductor of the Radio and Television State Symphony Orchestra. From2003-07, was chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Russia. From 2007, he has been a guest conductor at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
The conductor’s discography includes recordings of the works of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Grieg made with the Moscow State Philharmonia’s Academic Symphony Orchestra and the Radio and Television State Symphony Orchestra.
At the present time, Pavel Sorokin conducts the following operas at the Bolshoi Theatre: Khovanshchina, Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, The Tsar’s Bride, The Golden Cockerel, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Macbeth, Carmen; — and the ballets: Giselle, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Spartacus, The Bright Stream, Bolt, A Legend of Love, Chopiniana, Carmen-Siute.