Yelnikov was born on May 10, 1935 in Stavropol.
Until the seventh grade, he was a student at the 24th
His vocal gifts were noticed, and in 1952, he became
student of the Stavropol Music School.
In 1956, he graduated from the Stavropol Music School and worked as a soloist in an accordionists and accordion ensemble in
During 1956-1961, Yelnikov studied at Moscow Conservatory with M.V.Vladimirova.
During 1961-1962, Yelnikov was a soloist-vocalist of a musical group of the CCCP music broadcast, later
soloist of the big academic choir of state TV and broadcasting company.
During 1962 to 1982, he was solo singer of the All-Union Radio and TV.
Yelnikov was the first performer on the radio (in duets with
famous 50-60's singers Yevgyeni Kibkalo, Yuri Yakushev
Vyacheslav Godunov, Boris Dobrinim) to popularize in
those years songs - like "In vacation", "For a long time,
we were no at
home, "Long live the youth", "The Song Dovatortsyev",
"With you my heart", "Street Podgornaya.
These works, in fact, became
popular because the interpretation was so beautiful.
Yelnikov toured the Soviet Union and in Japan, Czechoslovakia, Canada and Mexico.
Yelnikov does not seem to have ever sung on an operatic stage.
During 1964-1985, he taught singing at the Moscow Conservatory.
However, Yelnikov kept in touch with his
native city, not forgetting childhood friends
keeping in contact with recitals.
One of them was in August 1961. The Stavropol Pravda wrote the following: At this concert given by the regional
philharmonic society, there was no free space. The townspeople came to
listen to their countryman, the soloist of the Moscow Radio
and Television Yuri Yelnikov.
The young singer literally in the first minutes of the concert
subdued all by his rare beauty of voice,
which can be defined
as a lyric-dramatic tenor, especially expressive and bright
in the upper register. It is impossible not to note
the commitment of his excellent vocal technique and high
musical culture. With passion and great
feeling, Yuri Yelnikov carried out an extensive program
in which, in addition to romances, included songs and
operatic arias by Russian and foreign composers.
Among his many recordings are:
Snegurochka (1976) with Vladimir Fedoseyev (conductor),
Matveď Matveyev, Andrei Sokolov, Alexei Usmanov, ...
Alexander Nevsky with Larissa Avdeyeva (mezzo-soprano),
Yevgeny Svetlanov, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky ...