In 1978, DAMIR ISMAGILOV (Дамир Исмагилов) completed his studies at the Theatre Arts and Technical College and in 1987 he graduated from the staging faculty of the Moscow Art Theatre Studio-School.
He started working for the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre in 1977 (being promoted to principal lighting designer in 1987) where he lit about 100 productions, amongst which are: Boris Godunov, The Cherry Orchard, Woe from Wit, The Thunder-storm, The Marriage, Moscow Chorus, Misha's Jubilee, The Three Sisters, Cyrano de Bergerac, Yu, Antigona, Crime and Punishment, Nuli, Copenhagen, The Siege, The Philistines, The White Guard, Playing the Victim, King Lear, The Forest, The Golovlyov Family.
He has worked with leading Russian and foreign directors, among whom are: Oleg Efremov, Lev Dodin, Sergey Zhenovach, Galina Volchek, Oleg Tabakov, Valery Fokin, Leonid Heifets, Roman Viktyuk, Mark Rozovsky, Kama Ginkas, Vladimir Andreyev, Roman Kozak, Kyril Serebrennikov, Elena Nevezhina, Tadashi Suzuki, Vladimir Petrov, Timur Chkheidze, Nikolai Sheyko, Mindaugas Karbauskis, Evgeny Pisarev, Grigory Kozlov, Konstantin Bogomolov.
He has given form to the concepts of the following scenographers: David Borovsky, Valery Leventhal, Sergei Barkhin, Eduard Kochergin, Mart Kitaev, Oleg Sheyntsis, Alexander Borovsky, Tatyana Selvinskaya, Vyacheslav Okunev, Boris Messerer, Alla Kozhenkova, Igor Popov, Georgy Aleksi-Meskheshvili, Yury Kharikov, Yury Ustinov, Nikolai Simonov, Zinovy Margolin, Simon Pastukh, Igor Nezhnyy.
He joined the Bolshoi Theatre in 1996 (being promoted to chief lighting designer in 2002).
He has worked with Vladimir Vasiliev, Boris Pokrovsky, Peter Ustinov, Alexander Titel, Boris Eifman, Peter Konvichny, Mstislav Rostropovich, Aleksei Ratmansky, Sergey Vikharev, Eimuntas Nekrosius, Alla Sigalova, Irkin Gabitov, Yuri Burlaka, David Pauntni, Dmitry Bertman, Vasily Barkhatov, Yuri Laptev.
He has lit the following ballets: Swan Lake, Insomnia, The Russian Hamlet, Ward No. 6, Magritomania, Leah, Jeu de cartes, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, The Flames of Paris, Grand pas from the ballet Paquita, Coppelia, Esmeralda; and the following among other operas: Aida, Iolanta, The Love for Three Oranges, Khovanshchina,The Snow Maiden, Francesca da Rimini, Nabucco, The Gambler, Macbeth, Mazeppa, Der Fliegende Hollander, The Children of Rosenthal, War and Peace, Boris Godunov, The Queen of Spades, Carmen, Die Fledermaus.
He is principal lighting designer for the Novosibirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Helikon-Opera, The Studio of Theatre Art. He has also worked for the Maryinsky Theatre, Alexandrinsky Theatre, Mikhailovsky Theatre St Petersburg, The Maly Drama Theatre – Theatre de l`Europe St Petersburg ,The Russian Academic Youth Theatre, The Maly Theatre, The Ermolova Theatre, The Oleg Tabakov Theatre, The Russian Army Theatre, The Pushkin Theatre, The Mossoviet Theatre, The Moscow Operetta, as well as other leading Russian theatres.
In all he has lit over 450 productions.
He teaches at the Moscow Art Theatre Studio School.
He is the author of the book Theatre Lighting (2005, republished in 2014).
He is deputy chair of the Russian Association of Lighting Designers.