In 1947-1950 studied at the Kiev art school. From the age of 15 he worked in professional theaters in Kiev.
In 1956 he made his debut as a production designer at the Lesya Ukrainka Russian Drama Theater in Kiev (Eduardo de Filippo's “Lying on Long Legs”). For many years he collaborated with the director Leonid Varpakhovsky, a student of Vsevolod Meyerhold. In 1965, in Kiev, he staged his first performance on the opera stage - “Katerina Izmailova” by D. Shostakovich.
In 1967, began to cooperate with Yuri Lyubimov. In 1973, he became the chief artist of the Moscow Theater on Taganka, where he worked for 30 years and staged more than 20 performances, including “Exchange” and “House on the Embankment” by Yu. Trifonov, “Live” by B. Mozhaev, “Mother” M. Gorky, “And the dawns here are quiet ...” B. Vasiliev, “Hamlet” by W. Shakespeare, “Vladimir Vysotsky”, “Sharashka” according to A. Solzhenitsyn. He worked with directors: G. Tovstonogov, A. Efros, O. Efremov, L. Dodin and others.
On dramatic and opera stages in Russia, Italy, Germany, Hungary, France, Finland and the USA, he staged about 150 performances. Repeatedly participated in the Prague Quadrennial (Gold Medal of 1971 and the Grand Prix of 1975), laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1998), the National Prize "Triumph" (1994), and numerous domestic and foreign prizes.
Since 2002 - Chief artist of the Moscow Art Theater. A.P. Chekhov.
He died on April 7, 2006 in Bogota. Buried in Moscow.