Zaurbek Gugkaev was born in Vladikavkaz. In 2004 he graduated from the Vladikavkaz School of the Arts and in 2011 completed his studies at the St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire where he studied at the faculty of opera and symphony music conducting under Professor Leonid Korchmar. He has worked with various ensembles in St. Petersburg, among them the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Conservatoire Orchestra, the St. Petersburg State Capella Orchestra and the Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra, he also collaborates with the St. Petersburg House of Music. In 2010 in St. Petersburg and Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus he appeared in the series Music of the Stars with the State Philharmonic Orchestra and such outstanding young Russian soloists as Alyona Bayeva (violin), Nikita Borisoglebsky (violin), Alexandr Buzlov (cello) and Alexei Stadler (cello) as well as at the Stars of the White Nights festival at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre.
In 2011 he successfully appeared in Italy with music of Tchaikovsky. He took part in Southern Highlands International Piano Competition as one of the judges and conductor of the final.
Zaurbek Gugkaev is a conductor of the Vladikavkaz Opera House and a guest conductor of the Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus Philarmonic Orchestra.