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Alexander Ivashkin, cellist

PRESS REVIEWS (selected)


Between the Lands: Alexander Ivashkin Remembered — Conference Report. Gavin Dixon, Orpheus Complex, 04/06/2017


Alexander Ivashkin: Cellist and musicologist who courted danger in the Soviet Union with his bent for contemporary pieces. Martin Anderson, The Independent, 13/02/2014

Professor Alexander Ivashkin 1948-2014. By Gavin Gixon

Farewell, Sasha. By Martin Anderson

Sad news: Death of an international cellist. By Norman Lebrecht

(1948-2014). . , . , . , . . , 13.02.2014



6-7 June, 2012,The White Nights/New Horizons International Festival, St Petersburg

The Article in 'SPB Vedomosti', 14.06.2012 (in Russian)

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Three Cellos Plus…
The Radio Orfei program about The New Horizons Festival in St.Petersburg, June 2012. In Russian


25 March 2011

The Jerusalem Post

Alexander the great
Outstanding Russian cellist Alexander Ivashkin performs classical repertoires and champions modern music.
By Maxim Reider


8 December 2010
Concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall

Prokofiev – Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 119
Alexander Ivashkin, cello, Dmitri Alexeev, piano
Prokofiev – Cantata 'Seven, They Are Seven' (1917/1933)
Goldsmiths Sinfonia/Choir conducted by Alexander Ivashkin

Ivashkin… gave his best ever performance of Prokofiev's Cello Sonata.
David Nice at

an enthralling performance of Prokofiev's Cello Sonata op. 119 by Alexander Ivashkin and Dmitri Alexeev
Max Harrison, Musical Opinion, February/March 2011

10 September 2010
Hall One, Kings Place, London

'The Russian Cello'
Prokofiev – Sonata for cello and piano
Stravinsky – Suite Italienne
With Mikhail Rudy, piano

(…) There were a few uncharacteristic slips in Rudy's partnership with Ivashkin in Prokofiev's plain-speaking, song-soaring Cello Sonata, but the cellist had such a free and captivating way with the composer's unpredictable late melodies and the pair communicated so well that it hardly mattered. (…)
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 11.09.2010

(…) Rudy was joined by his long time friend and musical partner, the 'cellist Alexander Ivashkin, the two playing Prokofiev with real animation and flair. Ivashkin in particular threw himself into the impish pizzicati and suddenly broad legato lines with barely concealed relish, the two also enjoying the musical sparring in which Prokofiev so delights. (…)
Ben Hogwood, music OMH, 10.09.2010

Alfred Schnittke: Discoveries.
Yellow Sound, Dialogue for cello and instrumental ensemble, Variations for String Quartet.
Alexander Ivashkin, cello/voice.
London: Toccata Classics, 2010. TOCC 0091

Behind the angularity of Schnittke's bursts and punches is a calm lyricism, the balance of which is maintained largely by Ivashkin's clear sense of direction.
Mark Sealey. MusicWeb International

Alexander Ivashkin is a superb soloist
Calum MacDonald. BBC Music Magazine, December 2010

Russian Cello Concertos 1960–2000
With various orchestras.
Alma Classics, MANU 5029, 2010.

Alexander Ivashkin investigates the state of the contemporary Russian cello concerto and finds it thriving.
William Dart., 28.08.2010


Saturday, 28 November 2009
Royal Festival Hall, London

Schnittke – Concerto No.2
Alexander Ivashkin, cello
London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski

Ivashkin, a close colleague of the dedicatee Mstislav Rostropovich, managed to emulate something of his great fellow cellist's intensity and perhaps an even greater sense of line and purpose.
David Nice., 29.11.2009

Sunday, 22 November 2009
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Schnittke – Epilogue
Alexander Ivashkin, cello, Boris Petrushansky, piano

Will the real Alfred Schnittke please stand up? The oeuvre squeezed into Sunday's marathon was so diverse that the Southbank Centre's Schnittke retrospective might well have been titled Between Multiple Worlds. His film work (66 scores in 20 years) taught him to be a chameleon — the best way to elude Soviet censorship. But Schnittke became too versatile for his own good, acting Shostakovich's heir one minute, playing neo-Classical the next, flirting with popular dance forms, dabbling in Modernist gimmicks. But thanks to his stylistic promiscuity, he is no one-taste wonder but a five-course meal.

Posterity may judge him as most potent when remaining true to his Russian lineage. That was the message of his ultra-classical Violin Sonata 1, an early work of spiky lyricism, performed here with due intensity by Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Boris Petrushansky. And few of Schnittke's mature works match the impact of Peer Gynt Epilogue: though accompanied by an inchoate choral tape, it's a cello concerto in all but name, full of expressive contrasts in the solo part and orchestral colours in the piano, before ending with an ecstatic heavenward spiral. Alexander Ivashkin's performance, again with Petrushansky, was the pick of the day.
Andrew Clark. Financial Times, 24.11.2009

Schnittke – Concerto for Electric Instruments
Alexander Ivashkin, conductor

A free but ticketed event in the Purcell Room at 5.30 witnessed the UK premiere of the Concerto for Electric Instruments Schnittke worked on at the turn of the 1960s and whose score was only recently relocated. Those expecting music at the cutting-edge of Paris or Cologne would inevitably have been disappointed, but the fascination of hearing the recently graduated composer working with then state-of-the-art synthesizers was undoubted. After a lively Allegro strongly reminiscent of Shostakovich, a capricious scherzo ran directly into a finely-wrought Andante that underlined the composer's capacity for formal logic as much as it did his textural ingenuity. The work is listed as unfinished, though whether a finale was necessary is debatable. Ivashkin ably directed an octet of musicians (the music conceived for instruments no longer in working order convincingly rendered here by sampler keyboards), with thereminist Lydia Kavina as 'first among equals' and sound-engineer Mariano Nuñez West ensuring a sympathetic ambience in the notoriously dry acoustic.
Richard Whitehouse.
"In the Labyrinth of Alfred Schnittke [Between Two Worlds]", 25.11.2009

Saturday 2 May 2009
Wigmore Hall, London, 10am - 10pm

A Rostropovich Day. Chamber Music Festival
Alexander Ivashkin, Artistic Director/cellist
With Joan Rodgers, Chilingirian Quartet, Dmitri Alexeev, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Alexander Zemtsov, Michel Lethiec, Frank Lloyd, London Cello Students

The 7.30 concert filled Wigmore Hall; Alexander Ivashkin, who had assembled a notable roster of famous musicians, dazzled with a show piece by Rostropovich himself, accompanied by 1975 Leeds prizewinner Dmitri Alexeev. Most interesting by far was the Sextet by Penderecki, a one-time enfant terrible of modern music in the '60s — he claims to have been 'saved from the avant-garde snare of formalism by a return to tradition'. A wayward and dramatic work in two movements.
Peter Grahame Woolf.

Two years after Rostropovich's death, artists are still playing homage to his remarkable legacy with ambitious projects such as this day-long celebration masterminded by Alexander Ivashkin, which was designed to reflect the great cellist's consummate achievements as a performer, arranger ans composer. It was surely his creative spark that was so inspiring for the composers he worked with and with whom he forged a vast new repertoire for the cello.
Joanne Talbot. THE STRAD, August 2009

Pacific Voyage
Impovisations with Fijian and Maori musicians Ora Barlow and Kim Halliday
Alma Classics, Auckland, New Zealand, MANU 5028, 2009

Pacific Voyage is a really interesting project fusing western music with the Pacific.

Alexander Ivashkin the world famous classical cellist (well-known to New Zealand audiences) joins forces with Kim Halliday (ukulele) and Ora Barlow (percussion, ukulele, Taonga Puoro, and voice) putting their own spin on well known melodies from the classical repertoire such as Rimsky Korsakov's Bumble Bee, and traditional Pacific favorites such as Moana Nui and Isa Lei.

Paul Gaugin, the great French painter, often rested in Auckland on his way to Tahiti in the early 20th century. Pacific Voyage is an attempt to repeat Gaugin's voyage on a symbolic level, a hundred years later. Gaugin was one of the very first modern artists to explore relations between Non-Western and Western traditions.

This recording was made in Auckland. Nothing here was performed from any written text. All the melodies, all the rhythms and timbres came from memory giving the project such a unique sound.

Fusing Western and indigenous styles has long been a fashionable concept, with many artists striving to create an artistic endeavour or a commercial piece fitting with a particular style. Performed by memory and improvisation, Pacific Voyage is a step beyond this, an album that embraces multicultural music, the Western, Maori and Polynesian elements combining to create a sense of darkness, foreboding and, in places, haunting melancholy. Alexander Ivashkins cello, Kim Hallidays ukulele, and Ora Barlows percussion and taonga puoro form a haunting combination, with evocative tones echoed in the song titles. Night Whispers is a fine example — the staccato rhythms and fingerpicked strings echoing the nocturnal environment. Another is Moteata: Lament, where the sadness is picked up in the cello and taonga puoro, while Rimsy-Korsakovs Bumble Bee is performed with a playfulness and energy that undercuts the melancholic eerie of much of the surrounding material. As clashing cultures go, Maori and Polynesian instruments and sounds combined with a western classical tradition of cello playing certainly sounds like it shouldnt work, but the effect is truly stunning. Pacific Voyage may not find a large audience, but will be well received by discerning listeners.

Amanda Mills. NZ Musician Magazine


June – July, 2008: Australian-New Zealand Tour as cellist and conductor, including performance of Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto.

When Alexander Ivashkin was at the University of Canterbury he generated considerable local, national and intemational interest in the cello, such is his standing as a performer, academic and teacher. It is always a treat to have him return and perform here…

Ivashkin made the most of the lyricism of the first and last movements in Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra, creating lengthy, intense phrases full of rich tone…

Ivashkin's interpretation showed this work in its best light.

Patrick Shepherd. The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand. July 21, 2008

9 December, 2008
Recital in Leeds Concert Hall, Leeds (UK)

With Irina Schnittke, piano
Bach, Shostakovich, Schnittke

Even by the exalted ideals of these two great Russian musicians, their performance of the Shostakovich Cello Sonata was one of those remarkable experiences you will rarely encounter.

David Denton. Yorkshire Post, 12 December, 2008


5 October, 2007
Goldsmiths Great Hall, London

Ives – Washington's Birthday
Mahler – Kindertotenleader (Jennifer Hunt, soprano)
Prokofiev – Songs of our days. Cantata (1937). UK premiere

Goldsmiths Sinfonia, and chorus, conducted by Alexander Ivashkin

Read a full text Ivashkin's highly demonstrative conducting technique certainly encouraged the instrumentalists.

Robert Mathew-Walker, in Musical Opinion; Nov/Dec 2007; 131, 1461; ProQuest Direct Complete pg. 56

Read more…

SCHNITTKE: Cello Concertos and Sonatas
'Chandos', CHAN 24139. England, 2007
GRAMOPHONE recommends  GRAMOPHONE  recommends…
It would be difficult to imagine a more physically committed performance than Alexander Ivashkin's – here's the definite document of Schnittke's relashionship with the cello
Philip Clark. Gramophone, February 2008

A disc that critic Philip Clark calls in his review “the definitive document of Schnittke’s relationship with the cello” can make for uncomfortable listening. Properly so, as the First Concerto was composed around Schnittke’s dreadful stroke in 1985. Welcome to his uncompromising world.
James Inverne, Gramophone Magazine
source: Presto Classical

Due Celli
(Music by Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Boccherini, Boismortier, Mozart, Schnittke). With Natalia Pavlutskaya
Alma Classics, New Zealand/Australia, 2007

You'd expect works for two cellos to be rather heavy and overbearing. Quite the opposite with these two cellists well known to New Zealanders. Their elegance and neatly sprung rhythms are well suited to these light classics by Boccherini, Boismortier and Mozart, Vivaldi's Concerto for two cellos and strings, Pergolesi's two-cello Sinfonia (Stravinsky pinched its presto for his Pulcinella) and Schnittke's Moz-Art, entertaining for its light-hearted deconstruction and montage of Mozart miniatures.

Classical CDs by lan Dando | New Zealand Listener

Premiere of Brahms Cello Concerto in St.Petersburg (Russia)


Schostakovich 100  Festival logo

An audience with the ghost of Shostakovich
Ivan Hewett reviews Shostakovich 100 at Queen Elizabeth Hall

There have been many musical tributes to Shostakovich in his centenary year, but this two-day event was something special.

It was a series of concerts that traversed the whole of his chamber music, minus the 15 string quartets. There were also pre-concert talks and a showing of some rare documentary footage of the composer (how moving it was to see again that sensitive, pained face with the frightened and intelligent eyes).

The artistic director, Alexander Ivashkin, had assembled a fine roster of performers, almost all Russian, several of them old enough to have known or at least seen Shostakovich…
Read a full text…

Times Online logo

Shostakovich 100
Hilary Finch at Queen Elizabeth Hall

At last, the birthday itself, and partying to celebrate Shostakovich’s centenary.
The two concerts presented two song cycles: the mighty Michelangelo Suite, sung with stentorian authority by the young Moscow-trained baritone Alexei Mochalov, and accompanied exquisitely by Dmitri Alexeev — and one cycle we had never heard before. On Sunday another young Muscovite, Marina Poplavskaya, gave the UK premiere of Shostakovich’s 1941 War Songs — arrangements of popular songs and arias originally to be played on the back of a lorry for soldiers at the front line. Violin and cello accompanied the voice — and Dmitri Sitkovetsky and Alexander Ivashkin (initiator and deviser of Shostakovich 100) brought to life the composer’s deft, evocative pen strokes as they plucked and pirouetted round Poplavskaya’s disarmingly fresh and radiant soprano.
Read a full text…

[…] In the two piano trios, this came from Dmitri Sitkovetsky and Alexander lvashkin, the former not sounding fully committed in the rather slight op.8 but redeeming himself in the mighty op.67, which found all three players running the gamut from the slightest pianissimo to the most thunderous fortissimo.
Ivashkin gave a more lyrical account of the Cello Sonata than we often hear and also played the interesting Moderato, originally intended for the sonata.[…]

Tully Potter. THE STRAD, December 2006


Simi; Mourned by the wind, for cello and orchestra.
'Chandos', CHAN 10297. England, 2005

Yes, this is music to meditate by, but you will meet some strong statements by the composer on the way. Ivashkin makes his presence felt, as is his custom, and I found myself a better person at the other end.

David W. Moore
American Record Guide; Nov/Dec 2005

Concert in Erevan, Armenia. May 2005

Read a review (in Russian)

Read a review (in Russian):
in PDF format (4 Mb)
in JPEG format

Premieres of Brahms Cello Concerto in Moscow (Russia) and Auckland (New Zeland)


to the cd info
Rakhmaninov. Complete Cello/piano Music
With R. Hayroudinoff.
'Chandos', CHAN 10095, England, 2004

Alexander Ivashkin and Rustem Hayroudinoff are both players in the great Russian virtuoso tradition, and in the Sonata the piano flourishes all come over with the necessary brilliance, while Ivashkin's tone is strong enough to sail above the most elaborate accompaniments. They're helped by excellent recorded sound, full and well defined. It's obvious, too, that both players are strongly committed to the music.
Dunkan Druce. Gramophone Magazine. May 2004

World Premiere of Brahms Cello Concerto (with Hamburg SO, Hamburg, Musikhalle, 2004)

World Premiere of Nikolai Korndorf (1947-2001) Concerto Capriccioso for cello and orchestra

'Has cello, will travel',
By Julian Haylock. The Strad

Read in Strad formatRead in Strad format…

Read in text only…


to the cd info
Myaskovsky. Cello Concerto (+ Symphony No 27).
With Russian State SO.
'Chandos', CHAN 10025, England, 2002

[…] superbly played and recorded […]

Calum MacDonald
BBC Music Magazine, January 2003

to the cd info
Prokofiev. Complete Cello/piano Music
With T.Lazareva.
'Chandos', CHAN 10045, England, 2003.

Ivashkin's playing has a wonderful narrative quality. […]

Martin Anderson. International Record Review, June 2003

The Prokofievs: three generations festival, London.


to the cd info
Gubaidulina and Cello
In croce, Quaternion, Ten Preludes
'Chandos', CHAN 9958, 2001

Ivashkin and colleagues prove persuasiveadvocates of Gubaidulina's evocative music.
Alexander Ivashkin is a fine player, unsurpassedin Gubaidulina's music.
Arnold Whittall. Gramophone, January 2002

to the cd info
Prokofiev – Sinfonia-Concertante, op. 125
(+ Symphony No 2)

'Chandos', CHAN 9989. England, 2002

Ivashkin's purposeful account of the Symphony-Concerto matches formidable competition… his linear way with the music is compelling throughout
David Gutman, Gramophone Award special issue 2002


'Chandos', CHAN 9890. England, 2001
Strad Selection

Read a full text
Chandos booklet

Read a full text Unerringly masterly performances from Alexander Ivashkin. Best of all is Ivashkin's gift of eloquent understatement, brushing over the strings as if he were confiding secrets to the listener in an eerie whisper. This is wonderful playing
Roderic Dunnett. The Strad, August 2001
Read a full text…

Read a full text No comparisons listed because this 'Unknown Prokofiev' collection is more innovative than it looks: neither work is currently available in quite this form. […] The performances, like the recordings, are vivid, not overly refined. Cellist, academician and Schnittke intimate, Alexander Ivashkin has already proved himself a powerfully idiomatic exponent of Prokofiev's instrumental music with cello (ODE Manu Classics, CDMANU 1517). He is on impassioned form here too.
David Gutman. Gramophone, August 2001
Read a full text…

Nikolai Roslavets.
Complete Music for cello & piano

Alexander Ivashkin, Tatyana Lazareva.
'Chandos', CHAN 9881, 2001.

The gradually expanding discography of NikolaiRoslavets has tended to suggest that this refined, sensitiveand exploratory figure, suppressed under Stalin, was in fact one of the major creative artists of the early Soviet era. These discs, concentratng on his most radical period in theearly Twenties, vividly confirm that impression... First — rate playing and recording... a must-buy for  enthusiasts of the 20th-century music.
Calum Macdonald. BBC Music Magazine. April 2001

CONCERT: Gubaidulina Day
Purcell Room, London
The high point of the day was undoubtedly the performances of Ivashkin himself, revealing an eagle-eyed intellectual grasp of whatever he was playing…
Hilary Finch. The Times. March 6, 2001

Read a full textRead a full text…


Unknown Shostakovich:
Schumann – Shostakovich. Cello Concerto, op.129/126;
Tishchenko-Shostakovich. Cello Concerto No.1
With Russian State SO.
World premiere recording.
'Chandos', CHAN 9792, England.

The great Russian cellist, who makes light of the enormous technical hurdies in the Tishchenko, takes a spacious view of the Schumann, savouring at length every note in the second movement, the unfailing beauty of his tone a constant joy…
David Denton. The Strad. April 2000

Schnittke – Concerto No. 1
With Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
'Chandos', CHAN 9852, England, 2000.
'Best CD in last 5 years' – 'Fanfare', USA.

The great Russian cellist Alexander Ivashkin does not materially change the pace, shape, or texture of that reading, though, as with all new works, what originally may have sounded strange to all concerned now seems to flow naturally from his fingers. Technically he is superb, and in his reading I find more passion, a little greater warmth, and above all the feeling of a voice crying to be heard.…
David Denton. Fanfare. November/December 2000

Tcherepnin. Complete Music for Cello and Piano
With Geoofrey Tozer, piano.

Chandos, CHAN 9770, 1999.

Read a full text
Chandos booklet

Read a full text

Calum MacDonald. BBC Music. April 2000

Read a full text

Read a full text
Moore. American Record Guide. July/August 2000

Read a full text


SCHNITTKE. Complete Music for Cello and Piano
Chandos, CHAN 9705. England, 1998

Alexander Ivashkin is a first rate cellist as well as Schnittke's biographer; he is partnered here by the composer's wife in interpretations that may fairly be described as definitive.
Calum MacDonald.
Hi-Fi News & Record Review, March 1999


Under the Southern Cross
New music for solo cello from Australia and New Zealand
BMG, 1999

In every work it seems nothing less than total commitment is given, with a keen awareness of dynamic contrasts, phrase characterisation and mood.
Joanne Talbot. Classic CD, June 1998


Russian Elegy
Original pieces for cello and piano written by Russian composers from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

Ode Records CD MANU 1426, Auckland, 1993.

This fascinating collection spans over 80 years — a period of time that was prey to extreme developments, both politically and socially. As you might expect, the music largely reflects this.
Joanne Talbot. The Strad, September 1994

ARTICLES in Russian: