They wrote about him as an official in every respect, charming and secular, with a fair amount of healthy cynicism. Mikhail Shvydkoy probably fully corresponds to his last name, which means “smart” and “fast” when translated from Ukrainian. Many note his ability to find a common language with people of very different convictions, he is everywhere both among "patriots" and among "liberals."
Mikhail Efimovich Shvydkoy was born on September 5, 1948 in the small Kyrgyz town of Kant. His father, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War and military personnel, was sent there to serve. Mom came to the distribution, after graduating from medical school. When he was 5 years old, his parents divorced. His stepfather is a musician (played trombone), like his brother, who plays the trumpet at the Bolshoi Theater.
My grandmother was mainly engaged in raising Mikhail, although he himself says that his stepfather is wonderful. They lived poorly, little Mikhail always wore the same shapeless sweatshirt. His classmate, a popular actor Igor Kostolevsky, recalls that Michael had a phenomenal memory. He could read a page of text and immediately retell it by heart.
In the Moscow school where he studied, he had no equal in physics and mathematics. For the rest of the subjects, performance was also high. Together with a friend, they organized a jazz band, the only real instrument in which was a piano, on which Mikhail Shvydkoy played well. He was probably too emotional to choose natural sciences, so after school he applied to the State Institute of Theatrical Art.
After graduating from the institute with a degree in theater science, he was distributed in Ulan-Ude to teach foreign literature at the East-Siberian Institute of Culture. Having honestly worked for three years (from 1971 to 1973), he returned to Moscow, where he got a job working as a correspondent for the Teatr magazine. Here he worked until 1990, gradually climbing the career ladder, he reached the position of deputy chief editor.
During these years, for the sake of earning, Mikhail Shvydkoy undertook practically any kind of work: he wrote articles and books on theater and cinema, taught at institutes, and rode around the country with lectures. When, with his school friend Kostolevsky (through the Knowledge Society), he went to lecture in the hinterland, he was listened to with no less interest than a popular actor. He himself warmly recalls those times, especially as he traveled on business trips abroad with some kind of theater. They tried to save on everything, and even somehow he cooked soup in the sink with the help of a kettle.
Since the beginning of perestroika, Mikhail Shvydkoy took the position of general director of the Kultura editorial and publishing complex. Which in 1993 was closed, as its former employees believe, largely due to the fact that he was engaged in art projects, ignoring the commercial component. The directors of the bankrupt enterprise were invited to work as deputy minister of culture.
In 1997, he worked in senior positions at the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. He was one of the founders of the TV channel "Culture", which for a long time led the weekly talk show "Cultural Revolution".
Minister of Restitution
From 2000 to 2004 he served as Russian Minister of Culture. He gained fame as a supporter of the restitution of art objects, in particular, the return of Germany, the so-called Bremen collection of graphics. A valuable collection of watercolors and drawings was brought to the USSR by Captain Baldin, after the war. In 2004, he was appointed Chairman of the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography.
After the abolition of the agency in 2008, he was appointed special presidential representative. Mikhail Efimovich Shvydkoy is responsible for the development of international cultural cooperation, in particular, deals with issues of cooperation in the restoration of cultural monuments in Syria. At the same time, he is responsible for culture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as ambassador at large. Shvydkoy also teaches in a number of higher educational institutions, writes books.
The first time he married the daughter of the popular screenwriter Olga Princeva. Now the family of Mikhail Efimovich Shvydkoy consists of Marina’s wife and two sons - Sergey and Alexander.
Marina Polyak is a theater actress who served for a long time on the theater scene on Malaya Bronnaya. One of the few film roles will probably be remembered by many: she played the stewardess, whom the co-pilot performed by Vakhtang Kikabidze screamed at in the film “Mimino”. He is currently working as an editor for the television program "Theater + TV".
Since working in a magazine, he loves suits and ties, which is more convenient for him. Shvydkoy himself explains: when you dress a suit, a white shirt and tie, you immediately catch up. And such clothing serves as a kind of protection, even when called to the "carpet" to the authorities.