Born in Vitebsk, Belarus, Russian pianist Yuri Polubelov studied piano at Lvov Secondary Music School with Alexander Eidelman. He gave his first solo recital at the age of thirteen and became winner of the Ukrainian Young Musicians’ Competition in Kiev. Polubelov graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire (piano class of Vera Gornostayeva and chamber ensemble class of Konstantin Adjemov). Polubelov has participated in festivals in Germany, France, Italy, Slovakia, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine. He has performed both as soloist and in chamber ensembles with prominent Russian musicians such as Alexei Lubimov, Tatiana Grindenko, Ivan Monighetti, Alexander Rudin, Nelli Lee and Mark Pekarsky. He has also given premières of a number of works by contemporary Russian and Ukrainian composers and pays special attention to rarely performed works by composers such as Zemlinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, Krˇenek, Hindemith (Marienleben) and Brahms (choral works with piano). Polubelov has helped organize several festivals in Moscow and served as artistic director and pianist in stage performances of chamber operas by V. Rebikov and A. Zemlinsky in Russia and Germany.
As a Duo Svetlana Savenko and Yuri Polubelov have performed together since 1997. Their repertoire comprises more than 350 songs for voice and piano, from Stravinsky and Schoenberg to Russian composers. They have given a number of world premières, among them compositions written specially for the Duo, such as the song cycles of Valentin Silvestrov and the vocal pieces of Leonid Hofman and Alexander Knaifel. The Duo are also committed to promoting vocal repertoire under special themes, for instance “Silhouettes of the Silver Age”, “In Schoenberg’s Direction”, “Hundred Years of New Music”, “Stravinsky: Nursery and Music Hall”.