阿方納西耶夫 1947 年出生於莫斯科，他在莫斯科音樂院就讀時先後師事薩克（ Jacob Zak ）與吉利爾斯，獲得兩項重要的國際大賽首獎，分別是 1968 年在萊比錫的巴赫大賽，以及 1972 年在布魯塞爾的伊莉莎白皇后大賽。 1974 年，阿方納西耶夫在比利時申請政治庇護，至今他仍居住在此；自從獲得西方的保護之後，他時常於歐洲、日本與美國舉行音樂會。
阿方納西耶夫目前灌錄約 50 張 CD，其中絕大部分的內頁解說都由他本人撰寫。這麼做是為了讓聆聽者能完整地接收到音樂家進入作曲家心靈世界的觀點－藉由他融合音符與詩、哲學、繪畫、甚至紅酒的觀點，也許可做為導覽的參考。今日，阿方納西耶夫為Sony的簽約鋼琴家。
阿方納西耶夫寫過 39 本小說，其中 23 本以英文寫成，16 本以法文寫成。他也以英文寫了 16 本詩集，以俄文寫了 9 本詩集。此外，阿方納西耶夫還著有一本長篇故事集，一本短篇故事集，一篇針對但丁《神曲》的長篇評論、以《展覽會之畫》與《克萊斯勒魂》為靈感的三本論文集、兩齣戲劇小品，他同時以鋼琴家與演員（四種語言）的身份演出。近來阿方納西夫根據卡夫卡的《在流刑地》完成了一份劇本，演出的同時演奏費德曼的《馬里宮》。
Valery Afanassiev was born in Moscow in 1947 and studied at the Moscow Conservatoire under Jacob Zak and subsequently Emil Gilels. He has won two major international competitions: the Bach Competition in Leipzig (1968) and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (1972). In 1974 he requested political asylum in Belgium where he currently lives. Since his defection to the West, he has given concerts throughout Europe, Japan and the United States.
Valery Afanassiev has recorded around 50 CDs, the booklets for which he writes himself. The aim is to give the listener a total picture of his insight into the composer's mind—a guided tour through his alchemical laboratory in which poetry, philosophy, painting, the Kabbalath and even wine, as much as musical notation, may be taken as points of reference. Today, he is under contract to Sony Classical.
Valery Afanassiev has written 39 novels: 23 in English and 16 in French. He has also written sixteen books of poetry in English and nine in Russian, a book of long stories, a book of short stories, a huge commentary on Dante’s Commedia, three books of essays and two theatrical pieces inspired by The Pictures at an Exhibition and Kreisleriana, in both of which he performs as pianist and actor (in four languages). Recently he completed a play based on Kafka’s In the Penal Colony during which he performs Morton Feldman’s Palais de Mari.
For several years, Valery Afanassiev has also conducted a variety of international orchestras. He endeavours to approach something of the sound quality and polyphony of his favourite conductors: Furtwängler, Toscanini, Mengelberg, Knappertsbusch, Bruno Walter and Klemperer.