Renowned cinema director, script writer and theatre figure.
Studied at a music school and subsequently at the Moscow Conservatoire (piano class). At the age of twenty-two he entered the All-Russian State Institute of Cinema, workshop of Mikhail Romm. For one of his diploma works he made the film The Boy and the Dove (awarded the Bronze Lion prize at a festival of children’s films in Venice, 1961). Konchalovsky’s degree work The First Teacher after the story by Chingiz Aimatov took several prizes and awards, including the special jury prize at the young cinematographers’ film festival in Iero and the Volpi Cups for Natalia Arinbasarova who performed the lead role in Venice in 1966 among others.
Together with Andrei Tarkovsky, he wrote the scripts for the films The Skating Rink and the Violin, Ivan’s Childhood and Andrei Rublyov. Also wrote the scripts for Lyuty, Tashkent – City of Bread, The Seventh Bullet, The Fan, We’re Waiting for You, Boy and Tran Siberian Express. In 1972 he was awarded the State Prize of the Kazakh SSR for the script of The End of the Ataman.
In 1980 he was made a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. The same year he began working in Hollywood (USA).
Over a career spanning thirty-five years, Andrei Konchalovsky has made seventeen films, each of which has received various awards and prizes: The Story of Asya Klyachina (Nika-88 prize and special prize of the Pesaro-88 International Film Festival among others), The Noble Nest, Uncle Vanya (Silver Sink prize of the International Film Festival in San Sebastian in 1971, silver medal at the International Film Festival in Milan in 1974), A Romance about Lovers (the top Crystal Globe prize at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary in 1974), Sibiriade (special prize of the International Film Festival in Cannes in 1979, special prize of the International Festival in Houston in 1982) – USSR; The Broken Cherry Tree, Mad about Mary, Run-Away Train (participant in the International Film Festival in Cannes in 1986; three Oscar nominations), Duet for a Soloist, Shameful People (prize for Barbara Hershey for “best female role” in Cannes in 1987), Homer and Eddie (top prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 1989), Tango and Cash – USA; Inner Circle – Italy – USA – Russia; Ryaba, My Chicken (grand prize of the Cine-Shock film festival in Anapa in 1994, participant in the International Film Festivals of Cannes (1994), Montreal (1994) and Vancouver (1994) among others – Russia – France; and Odyssey (TV, four episodes) – USA. Yevgeny Kindinov, Alexander Zbruev, Elena Koreneva, Sylvester Stallone, Nastassja Kinski, Whoopi Goldberg, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabella Rossellini, Eric Roberts, Kurt Russell, Bob Hoskins and Julie Andrews are just some of the actors to appear in films made by Konchalovsky over the years.
As a theatre director, he has staged The Seagull at the Odéon (Paris) and the operas Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades at La Scala (Milan) and the Opéra Bastille (Paris). He was invited to be the production director of the musical pageant Our Ancient Capital, which opened celebrations marking eight hundred and fifty years since the foundation of Moscow.
In 1997 he was awarded the order For Services to the Fatherland.
In 2003 he staged a celebratory show in St Petersburg on the balustrade of the reconstructed Konstantinovsky Palace to mark the city’s tercentenary. The same year he completed the montage of a screed version of Goldman’s The Lion in Winter.
At the Mariinsky Theatre, he has staged productions of Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace (2000) and Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (premiered with Mariinsky Theatre soloists, Chorus and Orchestra under Valery Gergiev on 31 January 2001 at the Verdi Festival in Parma, Italy). In 2004 Andrei Konchalovsky staged The Seagull at the Mossoviet Theatre. In 2005 came Miss Julie at the Theatre on Malaya Bronnaya, while January 2006 saw the premiere of a new production of King Lear at Warsaw’s Freedom Theatre with Daniel Olbrykhsky in the lead role (marking the actor’s anniversary). Pan Daniel had invited Andrei Konchalovsky to Poland especially to stage this tragedy.
Andrei Konchalovsky has written three books of memoirs (Low Truths, Tales of Deceit and Low Truths. Seven Years Later).
In April 2006 on Kultura TV-channel came the premiere of Andrei Konchalovsky’s own series Culture is Destiny (twelve episodes). 2007 saw the premiere of Andrei Konchalovsky’s film The Watcher.