At the age of six, Sergei Burdukov entered the children’s music school in Leningrad (St Petersburg), a school started after the war to keep children off the streets and out of trouble. He excelled there for four years, went on to college for four years and then on to the Music Academy in Moscow, meeting his match in fellow oboeist Olga who became his wife in 1974. While studying, he won an audition as principal oboe in the state radio orchestra, studying and performing at the same time. On graduation in 1977, he did one year of military service in the army band in Moscow. While there, he was invited to audition for Bolshoi Theatre and became principal oboe. In 1991, he joined the SABC Orchestra in Johannesburg as principal oboe, then the CAPAB orchestra, the CTPO on its merger with the CTSO and then the CPO, where he was also principal oboe until his retirement in January 2018. His experience in budgeting and management gained from the Cape Town Sinfonietta chamber orchestra and agency he started at Artscape qualified him admirably for the hard task.