After Sergei Barkhin graduated from the Institute of Architecture in 1962, he made his theatre debut with the Moscow "Sovremennik" Theatre. Up to date he has done the designs for over 150 productions (opera, ballet and drama) in many cities of the former USSR and abroad: in Germany, Finland, Sweden, USA, Japan, and the Czech Republic.
He is also book illustrator. He has designed books by over twenty classical authors, including Jacques Prevert, Juan Jimenes, Geoffrey Chaucer and Honore de Balsac.
His work has been exhibited both in Russia and abroad: in Berlin (1988) and Hannover (1995).
He is the winner of many top national (including the Silver Medal of the Academy of Arts in 1991 and the prestigious Golden Mask in 1995б 2001б 2011 и 2013) and international prizes for designer's work (in Holland and Japan).
He is a professor at the Russian Academy of the Performing Arts.
From 1995 to 2000 Sergei Barkhin was the Chief Designer of the Bolshoi Theatre. Among his productions for the Bolshoi Theatre are La Traviata, Aida, Iolanta, Francesca da Rimini, The Maid of Pskov, Nabucco, Giselle (Vladimir Vasiliev version), Don Quixote (Alexei Fadeyechev version) and various gala programs.