Was born as son of a physicist. Studied mathematics, physics and music. Shostakovitch advised him to study composition at the Moscow conservatory in 1951 with Shebalin. Much later he there became teacher in instrumentation. He was very interested in painting (in 1970 he composed the orchestra piece Peinture). He also made Musique Concrète based on the sound of Siberian birds. Other works are his opera L’Ecume des Jours (1981) and the ballet Confession. He was influenced by Boulez, Stockhausen and Ligeti.