Alexander Ivashkin began his music education at the Gnessins Special School of Music for gifted students at the age of five, playing both piano and cello. It was the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich who suggested he choose a career of a solo cellist. Ivashkin established an international reputation both as an interpreter of the standard repertoire and as a proponent of contemporary music. His highly acclaimed recitals, radio and TV recordings, and appearances with orchestras have included performances in more than 40 countries.
As a soloist he has played with the conductors such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Muti, Krzysztof Penderecki, Seiji Ozawa, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Yuri Temirkanov, Rudolf Barshai, Alexander Lazarev, Janos Furst, Vladimir Verbitsky, Nikolai Alexeev, Nicholas Braithwaite, Theodore Kuchar, David Stern, Dmitri Liss, Arvo Volmer, Martin Panteleev, and Andrey Boreyko. As a chamber musician he has performed with Gidon Kremer, Mikhail Kopelman, Shlomo Mintz, Dong-Suk Kang, James Buswell, Isabelle van Keulen, Lara StJohn, Oleh Krysa, Tatyana Grindenko, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Jan Tawroszewicz, Patricia Kopatchinskaia, Rainer Moog, Boris Berman, Malcolm Bilson, Dmitri Alexeev, Arturo Pizzaro, Alexei Lubimov, Mikhail Rudy, Victoria Postnikova, Daniel Adni, Piers Lane, Irina Schnittke, Hamish Milne, Michael Houstoun, Diedre Irons, Tamas Vesmas, Ivan Sokolov, and others.
Alexander Ivashkin has been a regular guest at many important music festivals in Europe, Britain, the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He appears regularly as soloist with some of the world's leading orchestras, including the Russian State SO, The Mariinsky Orchestra, Ukranian State SO, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, The Bolshoi Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, RAI Torino, Australian ABC Orchestras, Slovak Philharmonic, New Zealand SO, Berlin SO, Hamburg SO, Sudwestfalische Philharmonie (Germany), Boulder Philharmonic, Rutgers SO (USA), Winnipeg Symphony, Montreal Soloists (Canada), Cape Philharmonic, Free State SO (South Africa), Sofia Festival Orchestra (Bulgaria), Geneva Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland), BBC SO, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra (UK), Reno Chamber Orchestra (USA), Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra and Studio for New Music (Moscow, Russia), among others.
Since 1995 Ivashkin has been Artistic Director of the Adam International Cello Competition and Festival. He is also artistic director of annual festivals in London, including the Rostropovich Memorial festival in Wigmore Hall and the VTB Capital International Cello Competition in London.
Alexander Ivashkin is the first performer and dedicatee of many works by great contemporary composers. Along with Mstislav Rostropovich and Natalia Gutman, he is one of the cellists for whom Alfred Schnittke composed. He has actively collaborated with composers such as John Cage, George Crumb, Mauricio Kagel, Krzysztof Penderecki, Peter Sculthorpe, Brett Dean, Sofia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Arvo P?rt, Rodion Shchedrin, Nikolai Korndorf, Alexander Raskatov, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Augusta Reid Thomas, James MacMillan, Lyell Cresswell and Gillian Whitehead.
A recording artist for the Chandos, BMG and Naxos labels, Ivashkin has award winning recordings of the complete cello music by Rakhmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Roslavets, Tcherepnine, Schnittke and Kancheli to his credit.
He has taught at schools of music in Russia, the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and currently is Professor of Music and the Director of Classical Music Performance at the University of London.
As soloist Ivashkin has performed in London's Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall, Birmingham's Symphony Hall, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Queens Hall, Edinburgh, Vredenburg, Utrecht, Philharmonic Hall, Berlin, Musikhalle, Hamburg, Philharmonic Hall, Cologne, Dvorak Hall, Prague, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall and the St Petersburg Great Philharmonic Hall. He has played the Dvorak Concerto in Prague, Myaskovsky's Cello Concerto in Birmingham (Symphony Hall), and has toured the United Kingdom and Ireland with Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations. He presented a world premiere of the Brahms Cello Concerto in Hamburg (followed by performances in Moscow, with Russian State SO, in St Petersburg, with St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and in Auckland, with Auckland Philharmonia) and performed Beethoven's Triple Concerto at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Derek Han (piano) and Massimo Quarta (violin). Highlights of Ivashkin's recent tours included performances of two Shostakovich's Cello Concertos in the USA, three of Gubaidulina's Cello Concertos at the BBC SO Festival in the Barbican Centre in London, in Holland and in Italy (all — in presence of the composer), the Schumann Concerto in Utrecht and St Petersburg, a Canadian tour (as a cellist and a conductor), world premiere of new version of Penderecki's Largo (Cello Concerto), under the baton of the composer; the performance of Schnittke's Second Cello Concerto with London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski in Royal Festival Hall, and concerts, recordings and masterclasses in France, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Russia, and UK. In June 2012 Ivashkin performed two new cello concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. The first performance of Gabriel Prokofiev's new Concerto for cello and orchestra, along with new version of his grandfather, Sergei Prokofiev's Cello Concertino (1952), is planned for May 2013.
Alexander Ivashkin is also well known as a conductor. He conducts orchestras and choruses in Great Britain, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
He plays a Giuseppe (Joseph) Guarneri cello of 1710, courtesy of The Bridgewater Trust. He also plays electric cello, viola de gamba, sitar and piano.
Updated December 2012
Alexander Ivashkin's CV: in PDF format in HTML format
Alexander Ivashkin's shorter bio: in PDF format in HTML format
Alexander Ivashkin as a conductor: in PDF format in HTML format