Semyon Pastukh graduated from the Leningrad State Cherkasov Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema in 1975, specialising in set design. From 1976, he worked as a set designer in theatres throughout the Soviet Union including the Bolshoi Theatre, the State Academic Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (today the Mariinsky Theatre) and the Leningrad Maly Drama Theatre. From 1980–1991 he was Principal Designer at the Leningrad State Academic Maly Theatre of Opera and Ballet (today the Mikhailovsky Theatre). From 1981–1983 he taught at the Faculty of Musical Theatre Directing of the Leningrad State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He has lived and worked in the USA since 1992, though he maintains links with Russian theatre companies.
Semyon Pastukh has worked on over two hundred theatre productions including the ballets The Fairy Hill, The Hussar’s Ballad, Swan Lake and Harlequinade at the Mariinsky Theatre, The Hussar’s Ballad and The Bolt at the Bolshoi Theatre and the operas Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, Iolanta, Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina at the Leningrad State Academic Maly Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Semyon Pastukh’s set designs for a production of Sergei Slonimsky’s Mary Stuart staged by Stanislav Gaudasinsky at the Leningrad Maly Theatre of Opera and Ballet received the State Prize of Russia in 1983. Semyon Pastukh has designed productions of La Sylphide, Chopiniana and Paquita for the National Opera of Bulgaria as well as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty for the Universal Ballet Company (Seoul, South Korea).
Semyon Pastukh has frequently worked successfully with theatres in New York, Indianapolis, Chicago and Tokyo. His most recent works include productions of The Bolt (the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow), The Brothers Karamazov (the National Theatre of Oslo, Norway), On the Dniepr (American Ballet Theatre, New York), The Demon (the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre, Moscow) and Romeo and Juliet (the Mikhailovsky Theatre, St Petersburg).
In 1999 Semyon Pastukh staged Semyon Kotko at the Mariinsky Theatre, followed by Otello in 2001. He was awarded the Golden Sofit, St Petersburg’s most prestigious theatre prize, and Russia’s Golden Mask theatre prize for his production of Semyon Kotko (2000). He has also received a Golden Mask for his production of The Bolt at the Bolshoi Theatre.