Andrei Pushkarev was born in 1974 in Kiev in the family of musicians. He began his musical education as a pianist. In 1980 he entered the Kiev Special Music School. By age 14 he started studying percussion instruments.
In 1992 Andrei Pushkarev became a student of Kiev Tshaikovsky National Conservatory, where he continued his professional development with Prof. Alexander Blinov. In 1995 as solo vibraphonist he awards First Prize in the newly established New Names of Ukraine competition at which Andrei also performs his own musical compositions.
Between 1995 -1999 Andrei performs as solo vibraphonist with many chamber ensembles throughout Ukraine. In 1996 Pushkarev wins the competition to the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra as a main timpanist.
Starting 1999 Andrei Pushkarev joins the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica (artistic leader Gidon Kremer), which he still is a member. He has participated in concerts around the world. He as well participated in numerous recordings as a member of the ensemble on labels such as Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon.ECM etc. As a solo timpanist he can be heard on the CD release “After Mozart” which in 2001 received a Grammy Award in the U.S. and as well the Echo Award in Germany in 2002.
Since this time he has as well made many arrangements for vibraphone and violin solo with and without chamber orchestra. Together with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica he toured around the world, performing in numerous concert halls all around the world, including the Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, in the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Berlin Philarmonie, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and so on.
In 2004 he recorded the cycle “Bach vibrations” – improvisations on 15 two parts inventions by J. S. Bach. This CD, released by the Austrian “Gramola” label was recently mentioned by the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste, as one of the discoveries of the year.
Andrei Pushkarev has performed with such musicians like Gidon Kremer, Yo Yo Ma, Martha Argerich, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, Gabriela Montero, Michel Portal, Mario Brunello, Gabor Boldoszki, Didier Lockwood, Peter Sadlo, Anders Astrand, David Friedman, Emmanuel Sejourne, Marta Klimasara, Momoko Kamiya, Nancy Zeltsman.
In 2004 as solo vibraphonist he was awarded the Prize from foundation “Pro Europe”.
In 2005 Andrei did a world duo-tour with Gidon Kremer.
In 2006 Andrei Pushkarev as a part of Gidon Kremer’s trio project “From Bach to Piazzolla” toured together with a Lithuanian pianist Andrius Zlabys in Europe, South America, USA and Canada.
Since 2009 Andrei Pushkarev has regularly given Masterclasses all around the world (USA, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia). He has served as a jury member in numerous International percussion competitions such as TROMP percussion competition (Holland), International PAS Competition (Italy), Northwestern Percussion Competition (USA) etc.
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. In October 2010 this CD was released by ECM Records.
Since 2013 Andrei Pushkarev is endorser and the official performer of “Majestic Percussion” and “Innovative Percussion”.
Meanwhile, Andrei composes many arrangements for orchestras and different chamber squads featuring world famous musicians. Furthermore, he creates his own works.
Twenty years ago Gidon Kremer created the ideal conditions for a musical revolution. The internationally acclaimed violinist unveiled his compelling new initiative at Austria’s Lockenhaus Festival in the summer of 1997, giving life to what was destined soon to become one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras. Kremerata Baltica – comprising twenty-three outstanding young musicians from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – captivated its first audience with playing of unrestrained joy and exuberance and with the variety and vitality of its programming. Those qualities remain essential to its identity as the ensemble enters its 20th anniversary season.
Kremerata Baltica was conceived as Gidon Kremer’s 50th birthday present to himself. The new orchestra, which immediately embodied its founder’s tireless energy and visionary artistry, arose from the Latvian artist’s determination to share the fruits of his rich experience as a soloist and chamber musician with young colleagues from the Baltic States and to enhance the region’s cultural life. The learning process allowed no room for artistic compromise; in fact, the ensemble’s ethos has been ruled from the beginning by ideals of artistic excellence and adventure. Its outlook has also drawn on an innovative approach to programming, one open to artistic experiment, creative daring and bold challenges to convention.
When interviewed by the New York Times in 1999, Gidon Kremer described Kremerata Baltica as a musical democracy: “open-minded, self-critical, a continuation of my musical spirit”. Its performances, he continued, should always deliver “a sense of spontaneous music-making that makes a concert dramatic and sensuous, a continuation of the creative process”. His high aspirations for the ensemble have been realized with striking consistency ever since.
The headline events in Kremerata Baltica’s history and the achievements of its members, past and present, contain ample material for a book-length study. Since the turn of the 21st century, the orchestra has performed in over 50 countries, appeared in more than 600 cities and given over 1,000 concerts. It has secured lasting support from the governments of its three home nations. In addition, it has created a discography of over two dozen albums, including the 2002 ECHO Klassik and Grammy Award-winning After Mozart on Nonesuch Records and other critically acclaimed titles on the Deutsche Grammophon and ECM labels. The ensemble’s albums of works by Georges Enescu and Mieczysław Weinberg were both nominated for Grammy Award, while its recent recording of Shostakovich’s piano concertos with Anna Vinnitskaya for Alpha Classics won the ECHO Klassik 2016 in the category of “Concert Recording (Music of the 20th/21st Centuries)”.
Since 2003 Kremerata Baltica holds its own festival in Latvia. In recent seasons the ensemble has pushed back the boundaries of its work to include events such as “To Russia with Love”, a concert staged at Berlin’s Philharmonie in 2013 to promote the cause of human rights in Russia, and “All About Gidon”, a part-scenic autobiographical show in which Gidon Kremer performs works close to his heart and speaks about the life and career of an artist. Since 2013 Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer have partnered the famous Russian mime artist Slava Polunin and his Academy of Fools in ”Snow Symphony”, a joint project based on Polunin’s pioneering “SnowShow”. In 2015 the ensemble launched its creative project “Masks and Faces”, collaboration between Gidon Kremer and the Russian painter, polemicist and philosopher Maxim Kantor. The latest Kremerata Baltica project “Pictures from the East” is a joint venture with a Syrian artist, Nizar Ali Badr, which focuses on the dramatic situation in the Middle East and the current refugee problem.
Since its early years Kremerata Baltica has worked with soloists and conductors of the highest stature. The ensemble’s characteristic responsiveness and intense focus – qualities that have been fostered and sustained under Gidon Kremer’s leadership – have developed thanks not least to collaborations with the soprano Jessye Norman, pianists Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin, Oleg Maisenberg, Mikhail Pletnev and Daniil Trifonov, violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Didier Lockwood, Vadim Repin and Thomas Zehetmair, and cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky and the late Boris Pergamenschikov. Its artistry has also deepened over the course of projects and tours conducted by, among others, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph Eschenbach, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Heinz Holliger, Roman Kofman, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Saulius Sondeckis.