Zaurbek Gugkaev was born in Vladikavkaz. In 2004 he graduated from the Vladikavkaz School of the Arts. He is currently a fourth-year student at the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire (faculty of opera and symphony conducting, class of Professor Leonid Korchmar). He has worked with various orchestras in St Petersburg, among them the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Orchestra of the St Petersburg Conservatoire and the Orchestra of the Children’s Philharmonic. Collaborates with the St Petersburg House of Music. In 2010 he performed in the cycle Music of the Stars with the Orchestra of the State Philharmonic in Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus and young Russian soloists Alyona Bayeva (violin), Nikita Borisoglebsky (violin), Vyacheslav Gryaznov (piano) and Alexei Stadler (cello) and at the Stars of the White Nights Festival with the Mariinsky Orchestra.