安納托．烏果斯基 1942 年生於列寧格勒，一台木琴和他的歌喉是他清貧的成長過程中僅有的樂器。他在六歲參加列寧格勒音樂院的資格考時，尚無接受任何音樂教育，但儘管從未演奏過鋼琴，他依舊順利錄取該校。1960 年他離開學校後繼續隨郭露柏芙絲卡雅（Nadeshda Golubovskaya）學習直到 1965 年。即便如此，他的演奏之路依舊艱辛，他不願演奏俄國鋼琴家的標準曲目，如柴可夫斯基和拉赫曼尼諾夫，反倒偏愛巴赫、貝多芬、史克里亞賓和其他 20 世紀作品。他因此被迫到邊陲省分擔任伴奏和獨奏家維持生計，不斷遭受可疑的眼光對待，尤其是他的出身血統。他在布列茲於蘇聯舉辦的第一場音樂會上報以瘋狂的掌聲，因此甚至被迫接受懲戒。然而不像當時多數猶太藝術家，烏果斯基完全沒有考慮移民。如今回頭看待那段歲月，他認為是相當珍貴的學習經驗，也是磨練考驗。
想聽烏果斯基演出的人總有辦法知道他在哪裡現身：他在列寧格勒的私人音樂會總是擠的水泄不通，他的名氣也在暗中一傳十、十傳百。當他名望越來越響亮時，1982 年受聘擔任音樂院教授。隨著反猶主義高漲，對他家人造成威脅，他們只得在 1990 年夏末經由柏林出逃前往倫敦。經由柏林作家艾琳．迪謝（Irene Dische）和新聞界的幫助下，他在歐洲展開職業獨奏家的生涯。烏果斯基在成為 DG 的專屬音樂家之後，先後發行了貝多芬《迪亞貝里變奏曲》、第 32 號鋼琴奏鳴曲、舒曼《大衛同盟舞曲》、穆索斯基《展覽會之畫》、布拉姆斯鋼琴奏鳴曲全集、梅湘《鳥類圖誌》等風格相當獨特的錄音；而 2000 年 2 月，他與芝加哥交響樂團／布列茲灌錄的史克里亞賓鋼琴協奏曲以及《普羅米修斯－火之詩》入圍葛萊美獎；近年來他在 Avi 灌錄的史克里亞賓鋼琴奏鳴曲全集也獲得高度讚譽。烏果斯基目前定居德特蒙，他在當地的音樂院擔任鋼琴教授直到 2007 年。
Anatol Ugorski was born in Leningrad in 1942 and grew up in a poor background: a xylophone and his voice were his only instruments. When he was six years old he took part at the qualifying exam for Leningrad Conservatory, having had no previous musical education. He was accepted, despite never having played a piano before.
He left the school in 1960 and continued his studies with Nadeshda Golubovskaya until 1965. However, his career as a performer proved to be difficult: he declined to play the standard repertoire for Russian pianists, namely Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, and preferred to play Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin and works of the twentieth century. Thus he was forced to eke out an existence as an accompanist and solo performer in remote provinces, always regarded with suspicion, not least because of his origins. When he cheered over-exuberantly at Pierre Boulez’s first concert in the USSR, he was even subjected to disciplinary measures. But Anatol Ugorski, unlike many Jewish artists of the day, didn’t even consider emigrating. Today he sees those years as a valuable learning and training exercise.
Those who wanted to hear Anatol Ugorski always knew where to find him: his mostly private concerts in Leningrad were always jam-packed; his fame blossomed in secrecy. As he got more well-known, he was invited to be a lecturer at the conservatory in 1982. Following anti-Semitic hostility and threats to his family, they fled via Berlin to London in the late summer of 1990. Here, almost rashly, he placed himself on the international market with the help of the Berlin author Irene Dische and the press.
In February 2000 Anatol Ugorski was nominated for the American Grammy for his recording of Scriabin’s piano concerts and “Promethée. Le Poème du feu” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez.
Today Anatol Ugorski lives in Detmold, where he taught as professor for piano at the Music Academy until 2007.