Sokhiev began piano studies at age 7. He first conducted at age 17, inspired by Anatoly Briskin, the conductor of the North Ossetia State Philharmonic Orchestra. He subsequently attended the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he was one of the last students of Ilya Musin before the latter's death in 1999. Sokhiev's first opera as a conductor was in a production of La bohème in Iceland.
After seeing that production, General Director of Welsh National Opera (WNO) Anthony Freud named Sokhiev WNO's music director in December 2001, effective from 2003, for an initial contract of 5 years. His initial conducting work with WNO as music director was in revivals of Don Giovanni, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci. His first new production as WNO music director was of Eugene Onegin. He was also in charge of the Russian Series for WNO which contained works by many famous Russian composers. In August 2004, Sokhiev resigned from WNO with immediate effect, after problems with the cast of their new production of Verdi's La Traviata. Reports indicated a decline in morale among the WNO orchestra and chorus, and questions about whether Sokhiev was too young and inexperienced for the post.
In 2005, Sokhiev became principal guest conductor and musical adviser with the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse. He received the accolade 'Révélation musicale de l'année' from the French Critics' Union in 2005, after a Paris performance with the Capitole de Toulouse orchestra. In September 2008, he became the orchestra's music director. In September 2010, he was named principal conductor and artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO Berlin), effective in 2012, with an initial contract of 4 years. He took the title of principal conductor designate with immediate effect. In January 2014, the Bolshoi Theatre named Sokhiev its new music director, with an initial contract of 4 years, effective 1 February 2014. In October 2014, Sokhiev stated his intention to stand down from his DSO Berlin post after the 2015-2016 season, to devote greater attention to his Bolshoi post.
- Prokofiev: Symphonie No. 5, Scythian Suite, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Sony Classical, Germany 2016, CD.
- Brahms: A Flight through the Orchestra - Brahms Symphony No. 2, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, EuroArts Music International, Germany 2015, DVD/Blue-ray.
- Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Sony Classical, Germany 2014, CD.
- Stravinsky: L'oiseau de feu, Le sacre du printemps, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Naïve, France 2012, CD.
- Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2, Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Naïve, France, 2011, CD.
- Mussorgsky/: Pictures at an Exhibition, Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Naïve, France 2006, CD.
- Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Naïve, France 2007, CD.
- Hugh Canning, "An all-new baton charge". The Times, 2 May 2004.
- Charlotte Higgins (2002-01-09). "The youth of today". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Rupert Christiansen (2004-02-10). "'Everyone was nervous of change. I wanted change'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Andrew Clements (2004-02-16). "Eugene Onegin (New Theatre, Cardiff)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Charlotte Higgins (2004-08-21). "Welsh National Opera's music director quits after discord in company". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Hugh Canning, "Opera: Rizzi's honour". The Times, 19 September 2004.
- Peter Uehling (2010-09-07). "DSO-Chef: Wunschkandidat Sokhiev wird's". Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
- "Sokhiev named Bolshoi's new artistic director". Deutsche Welle. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
- Frederik Hanssen (2014-10-08). "Tugan Sokhiev verlässt Berlin". Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
- ЧУДО-ДИРИЖЕР РОДОМ ИЗ ВЛАДИКАВКАЗА. Журнал "Горец". Для тех, кто любит высоту
- Biography of Tugan Sokhiev on the Askonas Holt website
- French-language biography of Sokhiev from Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse page
- German-language page on Sokhiev from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
| Music Director, Welsh National Opera
| Music Director, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse
| Principal Conductor, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
| Music Director, Bolshoi Theatre