Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ivan Barbotin began piano studies at the age of 5, guitar at 10. At 13, he became lead guitarist of the rock group Sphinx which soon won the ‘Soviet Union’s Best Youth Band’ competition. At 16, he joined Russia’s celebrated rock band Forum as lead guitarist, where he was half the age of the other musicians. With Forum he toured the country to sold-out audiences and became Laureate of the Song of the Year Festival in 1989, a career-launching annual TV event.
After moving to Canada in 1990, Ivan turned his attention away from music for a decade, during which time he earned a BA with distinction in languages and linguistics at the University of Toronto. He also worked as a video editor at Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. Ivan gradually returned to music and eventually began working as a full time film and television composer.
In 2000, Ivan wrote his first ballet score, The Velveteen Rabbit. Two more ballet commissions followed: The Emperor’s New Clothes and Anastasia. He has since written numerous compositions for film and television. Ivan’s music has been recorded and performed by The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia, among many others. His Provence, a work for coloratura and chamber orchestra, was recently released on Harmonia Mundi. Ivan is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition at the University of Toronto.