Serguei Milstein was born in Moscow.
Both his parents were musicians, and he started to learn the piano at age of five. A year later, he entered the Moscow Central Music School. In 1977, he joined the class taught by his father, Iakov Milstein, at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire.
After his father's death in 1981, Serguei continued his studies with Boris Bekhterev.
In 1983, he was awarded the Diploma of the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire with an excellent distinction. Since that time, Serguei Milstein has performed in Russia (Moscow, Leningrad) and in Europe (West Germany, England) as a soloist and with partners such as Galina Pissarenko (soprano), Ilya Kaler (violin) and Alexander Kniazev (cello).
In 1983 and 1984, at the invitation of Sviatoslav Richter, Serguei Milstein participated in the production of two Britten operas for the December Evenings Festival in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. In 1984, he also took part in the International Music Festival in Moscow.
Serguei Milstein was awarded the second prize in the Prague Spring International Piano Competition in 1988, fueling his career as an international soloist. He toured the Czech Republic many times, and in 1990 he was invited to the Prague Spring Festival. In Russia, his success enabled him to work full-time as a concert pianist. He was also invited by several orchestras of the former Soviet Union, such as the National Orchestras of Minsk and Rostov, and the Philharmonic Orchestras of Voronej and Chelyabinsk, conducted by Verbitsky, Efimov, Kogan. It was at this time that Serguei Milstein gave his first concerts in Italy.
From 1989 to 1991, Serguei attended a course as an assistant at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow.
In 1991 he moved to France and this same year won the third prize at the Viotti International Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy. He was offered numerous concerts in France, Switzerland and Austria. In 1995 Serguei undertook a great tour in the United States with the violonist Frantisek Novotny, including a recital at Carnegie Hall.
In 1997, Serguei won the first prize in the Rome International Music Tournament. He played several recitals and orchestra concerts (with Pardubice Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Lyon National Opera, conducted by Denes, Revzen, Gibault) as well as numerous chamber-music concerts with the principal players of the Orchestra of the Lyon National Opera, the Lyon National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Paris National Opera and the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra. He also took part in various festivals, including the Prague Spring, the Moravia Autumn (Brno, Czech Republic), Gradus ad Parnassum (Moscow) in memory of Sviatoslav Richter, « Mai Musical en Champagne », Le Printemps de Bresle, the Flaneries Musicales de Reims. In 2001, at La Roque d'Antheron, during a day in memory of his father Iakov Milstein, Serguei Milstein's recital was particularly acclaimed.
From 2003 to 2006, Serguei Milstein has been a visiting professor of piano in the Department of Music, Kobe College, Japan. His recital in Tokyo was sold out in advance and finished with a standing ovation.
In May 2006 the performance of Berg's Chamber Concerto at the "Prague Spring" and "Janacek May" festivals with F. Novotny (violin) and Chamber Harmonie conducted by L.Pesek was enthusiastically acclaimed both by audience and critics.