Sviatoslav Knushevitsky was a Russian cellist of the Soviet era, regarded as the leader of the Russian cello school and best known internationally as a member of the so-called Oistrakh Trio. In his childhood, Knushevitsky took cello lessons from his father, Nikolai Knushevitsky. In 1922, he became a student of Semyon Kozolupov at the Moscow Conservatory, where he graduated with honors. Knushevitsky joined the All-Union Radio Orchestra in 1928, and in 1929 he became a member of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, where he was principal cellist until 1943. During this time, Knushevitsky also played chamber music with violinist David Oistrakh and pianist Lev Oborin, forming the informally named Oistrakh Trio in 1940, and he also performed in the Beethoven Quartet with Oistrakh, Pyotr Bondarenko, and Mikhail Terian. He became an instructor at the Moscow Conservatory in 1941, and was a professor there from 1950 to 1959. Due to his stature, cello concertos were composed for him by Nikolai Myaskovsky, Aram Khachaturian, and Reinhold Glière.