Andrei Pushkarev was born to a family of musicians in Kiev, Ukraine in 1974. At the age of five, his musical education began with the piano. In 1980 he entered the Kiev Special Music School. From a young age, Andrei delighted in music and by age 14 his concentration shifted to percussion instruments. In 1992 Andrei became a student of Kiev Tchaikovsky National Conservatory, where he continued his professional development.
During his studies at the Conservatory, Andrei began creating his own works including his own compositions for vibraphone solo. Pushkarev continued to study orchestral percussion, but the vibraphone has captured his soul. It became much more than a favorite instrument to Andrei. The vibraphone, a true solo instrument, was capable of transporting listeners to a world filled with new thrilling sounds and colors.
In 1995, the newly established “New Names of Ukraine” competition awarded Andrei with the First Prize as solo vibraphonist. Andrei performed his own musical compositions at the award ceremony. Between 1995 -1999 Andrei performed as a solo vibraphonist with many chamber ensembles throughout Ukraine. During this time, Andrei achieved another major milestone in his career. In 1996, he was selected as the main timpanist for the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 22, he became the youngest main timpanist of the symphonic orchestra in Ukraine.
In 1999, his musical career escalated to a new level. Andrei Pushkarev has joined chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica. Additionally, he participated in numerous recordings as a member of the ensemble on labels such as Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, ECM. As a solo timpanist he can be heard in the recording “After Mozart” which received a Grammy Award and ECHO Award in 2002.
In the following years, Pushkarev performed many compositions as solo vibraphonist at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus – along with arrangements of Astor Piazzolla, Richard Rogers, Peter Tchaikovsky, etc. He has made many arrangements for vibraphone and violin solo with and without chamber orchestra. In Lockenhaus, the idea to create a solo vibraphone project was born. Gidon Kremer proposed the idea of making jazz arrangements using 15 two-voice inventions by J. S. Bach. A. Pushkarev developed the idea, so each creation was written in the style of a different jazz pianist (Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, etc.). In spring 2004, Andrei performed this project “Bach Vibrations” for the first time in Basel (Switzerland) at Gidon Kremer’s ”Les Musiques” festival. The same year he recorded the cycle under Austrian “Gramola” label which was recently mentioned by the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste as one of the discoveries of the year. In summer 2005, Andrei presented “Bach Vibrations” project as a solo recital at the Verbier Music Festival (Switzerland).
Andrei Pushkarev has performed with renowned musicians including Yo Yo Ma, Martha Argerich, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Gabriela Montero, Didier Lockwood, Michel Portal, Mario Brunello, Peter Sadlo, Katia Skanavi, Maxim Rysanov, Gabor Boldoszki. Additionally, he has worked with celebrated conductors such as Yury Temirkanov, Voldemar Nelsson, Roman Kofman. In 2004, Andrei was awarded with the solo vibraphonist prize from the “Pro Europe” foundation.
In 2005 Andrei did a world duo-tour with Gidon Kremer. In 2006, toured with Gidon Kremer and Lithuanian pianist Andrius Zlabys as part of Kremer’s trio project “From Bach to Piazzolla.” This project garnered huge accolades in the United States of America and in South America. Since 2009 Andrei Pushkarev has regularly given Master-classes all around the world (South America, Europe and Australia). He has served as a judge in numerous international percussion competitions such as TROMP percussion competition (Holland, 2010) and International PAS Competition (Italy, 2011 and 2012).
In 2010, together with Gidon Kremer and Argentinean bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi, Andrei recorded “Themes from the Songbook” – music from cinema and theater by Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. ECM Records released this CD in October 2010. Since 2013 Andrei Pushkarev is an endorser and an official performer of “Majestic Percussion” and “Innovative Percussion.” Besides creating his own works, Andrei composes many arrangements for orchestras and different chamber squads featuring world famous musicians