Mikhail Tatarnikov studied music at the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire under Professor Ilya Ioffe (violin). After graduating from the Conservatoire in 2003 he subsequently continued his studies at the faculty of opera and symphony conducting (class of Professor Polishchuk).
Mikhail Tatarnikov began his career at the Mariinsky Theatre as a violinist. In 1999 he joined the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra (first violinist). While employed with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Mikhail Tatarnikov had a busy concert schedule. Highlights of this period include appearances with the World Orchestra for Peace under Valery Gergiev in St Petersburg and Moscow.
Mikhail Tatarnikov made his debut as a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre in November 2006 with the premiere of the ballet Metaphysics to Sergei Prokofiev`s Second Symphony. In March 2007 conducted his first opera – a new production of Prokofiev`s The Love for Three Oranges.
Mikhail Tatarnikov currently appears frequently at St Petersburg concert venues. In 2006 he supervised the Mariinsky Theatre?s production of Stravinsky?s musical tale L?histoire du soldat and in December 2007 he conducted the premiere of Mozart?s opera Die Zauberflote.
At the Mariinsky Theatre, Mikhail Tatarnikov has conducted Rimsky-Korsakov`s operas Sadko and Kashchei the Deathless, while at the Concert Hall his engagements have included Prokofiev`s opera Maddalena and Richard Strauss` Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche and Vier letzte Lieder for soprano and orchestra.
As a guest conductor he has appeared with Antonin Dvorak`s Rusalka at the Teatro Regio (Turin, Italy). In autumn 2006, having received a scholarship from the Ermenegildo Zegna Foundation, Mikhail Tatarnikov took part in master classes given by Gianandrea Noseda, subsequently appearing at the international festival Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago Maggiore (Italy). Mikhail Tatarnikov has also conducted the Novosibirsk Philharmonic (2005) and St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire (2007) orchestras, and in July 2007 he was Valery Gergiev`s assistant for performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen tetralogy at the Metropolitan Opera.