Sokhiev began piano studies at age 7. He first conducted at age 17, inspired by Anatoly Briskin, the conductor of the North Ossetia State Philharmonic Orchestra. He subsequently attended the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he was one of the last students of Ilya Musin before the latter's death in 1999. Sokhiev's first opera as a conductor was in a production of La bohème in Iceland.
After seeing that production, General Director of Welsh National Opera (WNO) Anthony Freud named Sokhiev WNO's music director in December 2001, effective from 2003, for an initial contract of 5 years. His initial conducting work with WNO as music director was in revivals of Don Giovanni, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci. His first new production as WNO music director was of Eugene Onegin. He was also in charge of the Russian Series for WNO which contained works by many famous Russian composers. In August 2004, Sokhiev resigned from WNO effective immediately, after problems with the cast of their new production of Verdi's La Traviata. Reports indicated a decline in morale among the WNO orchestra and chorus, and questions about whether Sokhiev was too young and inexperienced for the post.
In 2005, Sokhiev became principal guest conductor and musical adviser with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse. In September 2008, he became the orchestra's music director. In September 2010, he was named the next principal conductor and artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, effective in 2012, with an initial contract of 4 years. He took the title of principal conductor designate with immediate effect.
He made his debuts with Berliner Philharmoniker and Vienna Philharmonic in 2009 and was praised by critics as a 'Dirigentenwunderwaffe' (miracle conductor). He works with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London twice a season. His performance in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Orchestre National du Capitole resulted in his being named 'Révélation musicale de l'année' by the French Critics' Union in 2005.
- Hugh Canning (2004-05-02). "An all-new baton charge". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Charlotte Higgins (2002-01-09). "The youth of today". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Rupert Christiansen (2004-02-10). "'Everyone was nervous of change. I wanted change'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Andrew Clements (2004-02-16). "Eugene Onegin (New Theatre, Cardiff)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Charlotte Higgins (2004-08-21). "Welsh National Opera's music director quits after discord in company". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Hugh Canning (2004-09-19). "Opera: Rizzi's honour". The Times. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Peter Uehling (2010-09-07). "DSO-Chef: Wunschkandidat Sokhiev wird's". Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- ЧУДО-ДИРИЖЕР РОДОМ ИЗ ВЛАДИКАВКАЗА. Журнал "Горец". Для тех, кто любит высоту
- Biography of Tugan Sokhiev on the Askonas Holt website
- French-language biography of Sokhiev from Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse page
- German-language page on Sokhiev from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
|Music Director, Welsh National Opera
|Music Director, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse