Dmitri Smirnov is a Moscow-trained composer, whose fluent, sumptuous and elegiac music owes much to his admiration for his teacher and mentor, Edison Denisov. Together with his wife Elena Firsova, he achieved prominence in the 1970s as one of the leading Russian modernist composers of his generation. His life-long fascination with the work of William Blake has led to innumerable pieces including two operas, vocal and choral settings of Blake’s poetry and colourful instrumental pieces based on Blake’s paintings. Smirnov is fascinated by the arcane and mysterious, often basing his pieces on hidden codes and alphabets spelling out in notes the names of friends and heroes. In recent years, especially since settling in England in the early 1990s, has shown a more neo-romantic side, heard most powerfully in orchestral works.