• People's Artist of the USSR (1973)
• Hero of Socialist Labour (1986)
• The Lenin Prize (1970)
• State Prizes of the USSR (1977, 1985)
• The Order of Lenin (1976)
• The Orders "For Services to the Fatherland" (1st, 2nd and 3rd classes, 2002, 2007, 2012)
• Recipient of the Golden Mask, Russia’s most prestigious theatre prize "For the honour and dignity"
• Recipient of the Léonide Massine Prize in the category “Premio alla carriera " (Positano, Italy, 2013)
A graduate of the Leningrad School of Dance in 1946, Yuri Grigorovich began his artistic career as a ballet dancer (and later a soloist) at the Leningrad State Academic Kirov Theatre, where he staged his first productions – The Stone Flower (1957) and The Legend of Love (1961), while from 1961 to 1964 he was the theatre's resident choreographer.
From 1964 to 1995 he was Principal Choreographer of the Bolshoi Theatre (and from 1988 he was Artistic Director of the Ballet Company), where he staged productions of the ballets The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky (1966), Spartacus by Khachaturian (1968), Ivan the Terrible to music by Prokofiev (1975), Angara by Eshpai (1976), Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev (1979) and The Golden Age by Shostakovich (1982), also creating his own versions of classical productions such as The Sleeping Beauty (1963, 1973), Swan Lake (1969, 2001), Raymonda (1984, 2003), Giselle (1987), La Bayadère (1991), Le Corsaire (1994) and Don Quixote (1994). Since 2008 he has been a choreographer of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. From 1974 – 1988 he was a professor of the faculty of choreography at the Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire. Since 1988 he has directed the department of choreography of the Moscow State Academy of Dance. From 1991 – 1994 he directed the company he himself founded – The Bolshoi Theatre – The Yuri Grigorovich Studio. Since 1996 he has been Artistic Director of the Yuri Grigorovich Ballet Theatre in Krasnodar.
Yuri Grigorovich chairs the jury of the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, the International Serge Lifar Ballet Competition and the Young Ballet of the World international competition in Sochi; on numerous occasions he has chaired competition juries in Bulgaria (Varna), Finland, the USA, Switzerland and Japan and is President of the Benоis de la danse programme, which presents a prize on an annual basis for outstanding achievements in ballet.