Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov (Russian: Дми́трий Никола́евич Смирно́в; 2 November 1948 – 9 April 2020), also known by his pen names Dmitri N. Smirnov and D. Smirnov-Sadovsky, was a Russian and British (since 1991) composer.
He was born in Minsk into a family of opera singers Nikolay Senkin-Sadovsky and Eugenia Smirnova. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory 1967–1972 under Nikolai Sidelnikov, Yuri Kholopov and Edison Denisov. He also studied privately with Philip Herschkowitz, a pupil of both Berg and Webern. He is married to the composer Elena Firsova. Their children are Philip Firsov (an artist and sculptor), and Alissa Firsova (a composer, pianist and conductor).
His Solo for Harp won First Prize in a competition in Maastricht (1976). His two operas Tiriel and Thel on a text by William Blake were premiered in 1989 (the first at the Freiburg Festival, Germany, and the second at the Almeida Festival in London). The same year his First Symphony (The Seasons) was performed at the TanglewoodFestival, United States. His orchestral Mozart-Variations were staged as a ballet in Pforzheim in Germany (1992). Other premieres include the oratorio A Song of Liberty(Leeds, UK – 1993), Cello Concerto (Manchester, UK – 1996), cantata Song of Songs, (Geneva, Switzerland – 2001) Triple Concerto 2 (LSO, Barbican, London – 2004). Many of Smirnov's works reflect his fascination with the poetry and art of William Blake.
He was one of the founders of Russia's new ACM - Association for Contemporary Music, established in Moscow in 1990. Since 1991 Smirnov have been resident of England. He was a Composer-in-Residence at University of Cambridge (St John's College), at Dartington, and Visiting Professor at Keele University (1993–8). In 1998 Smirnov and his family settled in St Albans. From 2003 he has taught at the Goldsmiths College, University of London.
His work has been performed by many notable conductors, including: Riccardo Muti, Sir Andrew Davis, Dennis Russell Davies, Peter Eötvös, Oliver Knussen, Vassily Sinaisky, Pavel Kogan, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Gunther Schuller, and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Scores of selected works are available from various publishers including: Hans Sikorski, Hamburg, Boosey & Hawkes, London, and G. Schirmer, New York City.
His books "A Geometer of Sound Crystals" ssm 34 ("studia slavica musicologica", vol. 34), 2003 ISBN 3-928864-99-8 and "The Anatomy of Theme in Beethoven's Piano Sonatas", ssm 46, ("studia slavica musicologica", vol. 46), 2008, ISBN 978-3-936637-19-9 were published by Ernst Kuhn, Berlin (both books published in English).
Smirnov died on 9 April 2020 in Watford, after contracting COVID-19 during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom.