Alexander Telnikoff was born in Moscow in 1967. He started to write music at the age of 12 and has been publicly performing his music on the violin since the age of 14. He studied violin, piano, and theory of music and composition at the Tzaritzino Music College and attended Prof. Kholopov's music theory classes at the Moscow Conservatory. After graduation he taught theory and history of music for two years whilst continuing to compose.
Telnikoff came to England in 1989 to study at the Royal Academy of Music (composition) by suggestion of Prof. Paul Patterson (Head of Composition Department, RAM) who was impressed with Telnikoff's scores. He became involved in a series of electronic music projects, producing works of unusual intensity and resourcefulness in terms of utilisation of sophisticated sound equipment.
Since then Telnikoff has been continuously touring around the UK as a lead violinist with a professional character dance group playing Russian folk music as well as his own compositions for violin. He has performed in most major UK venues, including numerous appearances at the South Bank. His playing was praised by the press at the Cork International Festival in 1996 in Ireland, and he received wild reviews upon his appearance at the Harrogate Festival in 1997.
In 1998 Telnikoff founded his own string ensemble 'Alexander Telnikoff et al'. The group's repertoire includes Telnikoff's own compositions, as well as works of Schnittke, Part, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Shedrin and others.
Telnikoff's interest in dance and ballet has led him to write a number of contemporary dance scores (such as 'Thought Station' for violin to the choreography of Ben Craft performed by both artists at the Purcell Room in 1996 as part of Telnikoff's 'Four Strings At Once' project). His music is being booked throughout the UK whilst his violin playing is attracting attention of a wider audience. This encourages Telnikoff to expand his repertoire with music of other contemporary composers.
In Telnikoff's own words, 'performing and composing have always been for me the two necessary and inseparable components of the whole'. He aspires to the values of the pre-'division-of-labour' era in music when composers also played an instrument.