Graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory: the Composition Department in 1970 and the Piano Department in 1971. In 1973, he joined the Moscow Experimental Studio of Electronic Music. In 1977, he created a rock band, Forpost. His interest in electronic and rock music was combined with deep studies of Oriental cultures and religions and of the Christian philosophy of the West and the East. In 1975–1976, he played the recorder in concerts of the Early Music Ensemble which performed the European music of the 13thand 14th centuries. In 1976–1977,Martynov performed with the Moscow Ensemble of Soloists, which played avant-garde, electronic and minimalistic music, as well as West European Medieval music.
In 1978, Vladimir Martynov gave up music composition and became a teacher at the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra’s Ecclesiastical Academy. He decoded and restored ancient Russian liturgical hymns and studied old singing manuscripts in a number of monasteries. He wrote liturgical music according to the ancient canon. In 1984 he returned to music composition and from that time on his music has a deliberate bias towards the canon.
Vladimir Martynov has composed operas (New Life, Gvido’s Exercises and Dances),ballets (Comde and Medan, Seasons),sacred music pieces (Apocalypse, The Mourn of the Prophet Jeremiah, Requiem, Magnification),symphony and chamber music. He has also written music for more than 50 films and for theatrical productions by Yuri Lyubimov, Anatoly Vasiliev, and other directors. Vladimir Martynov is an author of books on liturgical music and philosophy (The History of Liturgical Singing, Culture, Icons and Liturgical Singing of Moscovia, Autoarcheology, Alice’s Time and some other). His book The End of the Time of Composers, published in 2002, received a wide public response.
Vladimir Martynov is the author The school for wives on Yuri Lyubimov's libretto.