Conductor Kirill Ershov (born in 1970) graduated from the Gnessin Musical College in Moscow in 1989, and then from the Saratov Conservatory in 1994 (balalaika and conducting classes). In 1992 he became a laureate of the Russian Competition for folk-instrument performers. In 1999–2001 he took a post-graduate course at the Saratov Conservatory in conducting. Currently he is the Dean and Professor at this Conservatory. He has regularly conducted the Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and Saratov Conservatory Folk Instruments Orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has performed with other Russian orchestras. Kirill Ershov was personally acquainted with Boris Tchaikovsky, and after the composer’s death became the first performer (together with pianist Olga Solovieva) of Two Pieces for Balalaika and Piano in 1998. As a conductor, he has performed several of Tchaikovsky’s works, including the Capriccio on English Themes, and in 2006 he made the first recordings of the suites The Murmuring Forest and After the Ball with the Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra (Naxos 8.570195). He is on the editorial board for the publication of the composer’s scores, Boris Tchaikovsky: Selected Works. For his activities in 2008 he received the Boris Tchaikovsky Society’s jury award, which included such famous composers as Karen Khachaturian and Valery Kikta.