克尼亞瑟夫 1961 年出生於莫斯科，六歲的時候開始學習大提琴，1979-1986 年間在莫斯科音樂學院向著名的大提琴教授費多瑟柯（Alexander Fedorchenko）學習大提琴，同時也和著名的管風琴家柯茲洛娃（G. Kozlova）學習管風琴而受到矚目。克尼亞瑟夫 1979 年在佛羅倫斯舉辦的卡薩多（Gaspar Cassado）國際大提琴大賽中獲得第三名，1987 年時在義大利特拉帕尼（Trapani）國際室內樂大會中和妻子共同奪得第一名，接著又在 1990 年柴可夫斯基國際大賽中奪得大提琴組的第二名的而受到國際注目！在這之後，克尼亞瑟夫便開始了他一帆風順的職業演奏生涯，然而 1994 年在一次南非的演奏旅行中，夫妻一起遭受到交通事故，妻子當場死亡，克尼亞瑟夫也身受重傷，無論是生理或心理，克尼亞瑟夫都受到嚴重的打擊。在羅斯托波維奇的幫助下，克尼亞瑟夫漸漸從傷痛中站起來，於 1997 年在聖彼得堡所舉辦的紀念蕭士塔高維契音樂會上，正式回到舞台。
1995-2004 年間，克尼亞瑟夫於莫斯科音樂院任教，他的許多學生是國際大提琴比賽的常勝軍。克尼亞瑟夫時常於法國、德國、西班牙、南韓等地舉行大師班，此時他也數度受邀為柴可夫斯基國際大提琴大賽的評審，1999 年克尼亞瑟夫被提名為俄羅斯的「年度音樂家」。
與克尼亞瑟夫合作過的指揮包括史維特拉諾夫、泰米卡諾夫、羅斯托波維契、貝許米特、費多塞耶夫、馬可辛・蕭士塔高維契、賈維、馬索等人，而克尼亞瑟夫也與倫敦皇家愛樂、巴伐利亞廣播交響樂團、戈登堡交響樂團、海牙王城管弦樂團（Den Haag Residentie Orchestra）、法國國家管弦樂團與布拉格愛樂合作演出。克尼亞瑟夫也受邀參加李希特所舉辦的「十二月之夜」音樂節，身為鋼琴家的李希特影響他的演奏風格也相當深遠。和克尼亞瑟夫合作過的音樂家則包括安潔爾、紀辛、雷賓、曼格娃（Plamena Mangova）、貝瑞佐夫斯基、馬克廷（Dmitri Makhtin）與盧岡斯基。其中他與馬克廷、盧岡斯基三人合作鋼琴三重奏團，巡迴阿姆斯特丹的大會堂、布魯塞爾的美藝廳、倫敦的威格摩爾廳、薩爾茲堡音樂節、紐約的林肯中心演出，甚獲好評；而這個團體所灌錄的 DVD「給一位偉大藝術家的回憶」得到了金叉獎的肯定。2009 年克尼亞瑟夫與費多塞耶夫在維也納的金廳合作德弗札克大提琴協奏曲，樂評界一致叫好，緊接著他同樣在法國的培耶廳演出德弗札克的大提琴協奏曲，這個組合也在 Warner 唱片灌錄此曲 CD。2010 年克尼亞瑟夫則回到聖彼得堡演出巴赫的六首無伴奏大提琴組曲。
克尼亞瑟夫除了是位享譽國際的大提琴家之外，他也演奏管風琴，2009 年他曾在莫斯科的柴可夫斯基大廳與聖彼得堡愛樂的學會交響樂團合作演出海頓的大提琴與管風琴協奏曲（指揮是阿列席耶夫 Nikolai Alexeyev），同一年他也與小提琴家巴耶娃（Alyona Bayeva）合作巴赫的六首小提琴與管風琴奏鳴曲。
克尼亞瑟夫演奏的布洛赫「所羅門」（史維特拉諾夫指揮俄羅斯國立交響樂團）錄音，在國際樂評界獲得極高的評價；此外，他演奏雷格作品的錄音，在法國雜誌也得到極佳的評論。至於克尼亞瑟夫在華納唱片公司所灌錄的一系列唱片，包括巴赫的六首無伴奏大提琴組曲、蕭士塔高維契的第二號鋼琴三重奏、拉赫曼尼諾夫的鋼琴三重奏「悲歌」同時皆奪得英國留聲機雜誌當月推薦、法國金叉獎、德國回聲大獎的多重肯定。克尼亞瑟夫也在這裡灌錄了一張柴可夫斯基的專輯，包括洛可可變奏曲、如歌的行板、浪漫曲等作品，還有孟德爾頌的兩首鋼琴三重奏，也都獲得了德國回聲大獎。至於巴赫六首無伴奏大提琴組曲，克尼亞瑟夫先後各在華納與 Exton 唱片公司灌錄過一次，Exton 的版本另外添加了他自己改編的巴赫夏康舞曲。
Born in 1961 in Moscow, Alexander Kniazev started the cello at the age of six with Alexander Fedorchenko. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1986. In 1991, Alexander Kniazev got a degree at the Nizhny-Novgorod Conservatory as an organist where he studied with the well-known Russian organist, professor G. Kozlova. Prize winner of the National cello Competition in Vilnius, at the International cello Competition in Cassado, at the Chamber Music Competition in Trapani with the pianist Ekaterina Voskressenskaya, at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and at the Pretoria Competition (UNISA). He plays with conductors like E. Svetlanov, J. Temirkanov, M. Rostropovitch, Y. Bashmet, V. Fedosseev, M. Shostakovitch, N. Jarvi and orchestras such as: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Goteborg Symphonic Orchestra, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, “Solistes Europeens, Luxembourg” and “Het Residentie Orchestra”. His partners in chamber music are Vadim Repin, Boris Berezovsky, Dmitri Makhtin, Nicolai Luganski, Brigitte Engerer, Laurent Korcia, Augustin Dumay and Marie-Joao Pires.
From 1995–2004 Alexander Kniazev taught at the Moscow Conservatoire. Many of his pupils have gone on to become prize-winners at international competitions. Today, the musician frequently gives master classes in France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and the Philippines. Alexander Kniazev was invited to join the jury of the II International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition in Japan and the ХІ and ХІІ International Tchaikovsky Competitions in Moscow. In 1999 Alexander Kniazev was named Russia’s “Musician of the Year”.
During the season 2002, Alexander Kniazev appeared at the Tanglewood Festival, and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as the NHK Orchestra in Japan. His latest appearance in France at "La Folle Journee", “Festival de Saint Denis”, “Nuits de Suquet” , La Roque d’Antheron and Sisteron, Menton, in England at the Harrogate Festival, in Portugal at Espinhio Festival were acclaimed by both critics and the audience. Last season was marked by a recording of complete Bach suites at Warner Classics (which received the best International acclaim from critics and shops), three concerts in Paris : recital with Nicolai Luganski at the “Theatre du Chatelet”, Shostakovitch N°1 Concerto with “ Ensemble Orchestral de Paris” and John Nelson at the “Theatre des Champs-Elysees” and in chamber music with Dmitri Makhtin and Boris Berezovski at the Louvre auditorium. One of the most spectacular events were recital concerts with Evgueni Kissin, in Festival radio France Montpellier and Verbier Festivals and a performance of the Saint-Saens cello Concerto with Maestro Temirkanov in Venice.
In 2005 Boris Berezovsky, Dmitry Makhtin and Alexander Kniazev’s recording of trios by Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich (on Warner Classics) was awarded Germany’s prestigious Echo Klassik award. In 2006 a recording of works by Tchaikovsky with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under Konstantin Orbelian (Warner Classics) brought the musician a repeat Echo Klassik award. In 2007 Alexander Kniazev received the prize a further time for his disc of sonatas by Chopin and Rachmaninoff (Warner Classics), recorded together with pianist Nikolai Lugansky. In the 2008–2009 season the musician released several albums including two discs from a planned anthology of every work for cello by Max Reger (featuring the pianist Edouard Oganessian), trios for clarinet, cello and piano by Mozart and Brahms with Julian Milkis and Valery Afanasiev and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, which Alexander Kniazev recorded together with the Tchaikovsky Grand Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseyev.
In the 2008–2009 season Alexander Kniazev performed organ recitals in perm, Omsk, Pitsunda, Naberezhnye Chelny, Lvov, Kharkov, Chernovtsy, Belaya Tserkva (Ukraine) and St Petersburg. The musician’s debut as an organist came at the renowned Dom Cathedral in Riga. In October 2009 Alexander Kniazev performed a recital at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow as well as appearing in St Petersburg with a performance of Haydn’s Cello and Organ Concertos with the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St Petersburg Philharmonic, Honoured Ensemble of Russia, under the baton of Nikolai Alexeyev. In November the same year at the State Academic Cappella he performed a programme of solo works by Bach in addition to six Bach sonatas for violin and organ together with Alyona Bayeva (violin).
In July 2010 the musician performed a recital at the acclaimed Radio France Festival in Montpelier which was broadcast live throughout Europe. Recently at Riga’s Dom Cathedral Alexander Kniazev recorded his first disc of organ music on the famous E. F. Walker & Co organ. Plans for the near future include performances at Notre Dame and the Église Saint-Eustache in Paris.
Recently the last disc in an anthology of cello works by Reger was released, as was the next disc from the anthology of recordings by Yevgeny Svetlanov on the Warner Classics label; this series also includes recordings by the musician under the maestro of Bloch’s Schelomo and Myaskovsky’s Cello Concerto. In the near future Alexander Kniazev will also be recording three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas for Cello and Organ together with Jean Guillou (Triton, France). As an organist, Alexander Kniazev has given many highly acclaimed concerts both in Russia and abroad, performing recitals as well as works for organ and orchestra.
Works by Johann Sebastian Bach have always been of paramount importance for the performer. “I try to find a reading of Bach’s music that must first and foremost be very animated. I believe that that is what makes Bach’s music brilliant and so contemporary. In no way should you attempt to make a ‘museum’ out of it,” says Alexander Kniazev. His Bach repertoire includes such demanding and exclusive projects as performing all of the composer’s cello suites on the same evening (at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Great Hall of the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Casals Hall in Tokyo) as well as recordings of these sonatas on two separate occasions. Alexander Kniazev has performed all six of Bach’s trio sonatas for organ (in Montpelier) The Art of the Fugue (Montpelier, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Casals Hall in Tokyo and the UNISA Hall in Pretoria).