Vadim Repin was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, on August 31, 1971. He began playing the violin at the age of five, and six months later gave his first public performance. He became a student of Zakhar Bron in Novosibirsk at seven. That same year Repin appeared with an orchestra, and two years later captured first prize at the Poznan-based Wieniawski Competition.
Repin vaulted to international prominence when he won the 1989 Queen Elizabeth Competition at the age of 17, making him the youngest winner of the event in history. By this time he had already given his major debuts in Japan and the U.K. (both 1987), and soon he relocated to the U.K.
Throughout the 1990s Repin toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas, appearing with major orchestras and giving high-profile recitals. Repin made nine recordings for Melodiya in the 1980s (his first when he was 14!), but his earliest recording to gain international attention was a 1990 disc of sonatas by J.S. Bach and Brahms, available now on MCA.
Following tours of Japan and Amsterdam in 1994-1995, Repin recorded the Prokofiev sonatas with pianist Berezovsky in 1995 for Erato. Over the next decade Erato would issue more than a half-dozen additional recordings by Repin. In 2005 Repin signed with Deutsche Grammophon, the label for whom he has since made most of his recordings. His recordings have won a number of awards, including a 2011 BBC Music award for his recording of Grieg, Janácek, and Franck sonatas with Nikolai Lugansky.