Andrei Pushkarev was born in 1974 in Kiev in the family of musicians. He began his musical education when he was five, the first instrument being a piano. In 1980 he entered the Kiev Special Music School.
By age 14 he concentrated on percussion – instruments, Andrei was dreaming from childhood.
In 1992 Andrei Pushkarev became a student of Kiev Tchaikovsky National Conservatory, where he continued his professional development with Prof. Alexander Blinov.
During the study in the Conservatory Andrei began to create his own works, his own compositions for vibraphone solo. While continuing to study orchestral percussion, the vibraphone becomes his favorite instrument – as a real solo instrument with its own world of colors and sounds.
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.
Starting 1999 his musical carrier continues on a new level – Andrei Pushkarev joins the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica, which he still is a member.
World famous violinist Gidon Kremer created this orchestra in 1997. Since 1999 Pushkarev is a percussionist of Kremerata Baltica and 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.
In summer 1999 he performs for the first time at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus (Austria) and became a regular participant of this festival.
From the summer 2000 he is a permanent guest artist of the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus.
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 in New York, Albert hall in London, in the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and so on.
In the Lockenhaus was born an idea to create a solo vibraphone project. This idea to make jazz arrangements of 15 two-voice inventions by J. S. Bach, came first from Gidon Kremer .Andrei Pushkarev developed it–so each invention was written in a style of different jazz pianists (Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, etc.).
In spring 2004 Andrei Pushkarev recorded the cycle. This CD, released by the Austrian “Gramola”label was recently mentioned by the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste, as one of the discoveries of the year.
In summer 2005, Andrei presented the “Bach Vibrations” project as a solo recital at the Verbier Music Festival (Switzerland).
“It is no way a ‘crossover’ project. Andrei Pushkarev and his vibrations are extraordinary – he is more than a good musician – rather a magician. Andrei is not only INSPIRED by great jazz pianists – he is inspiring everything he touches himself.”
— Gidon Kremer
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 highly-regarded conductors such as Yury Temirkanov, Voldemar Nelsson, Roman Kofman.
In 2004, he was awarded a prize from the “Pro Europe” foundation as a solo vibraphonist.
In 2005 Andrei did a world duo-tour with Gidon Kremer. After their duo-concert in Wigmore Hall, London, The Independent wrote:
“…Pushkarev, in a delightfully modest manner (masking a ferocious technique), brought jazz, smoke and swing both tastefully and deeply musically to Bach.”
In 2006, Andrei Pushkarev 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. Here are some American reviews:
“Vibe-man Pushkarev nearly stole the show with his own arrangement of Bach two-part inventions, in the styles of three great jazz pianists: Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. He plays with such a mix of brilliant technique and obvious delight — you want to hear more from this young man.”
— The Seattle Times, November 17, 2006
“Then the astounding, musically multilingual Ukrainian vibraphonist Andrei Pushkarev delivered his own impressions of three Bach inventions in the styles of jazz pianists Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. He caught both Evans’ dreamy impressionism and underrated ability to swing, though Peterson’s agile voice was less in evidence and the Brubeck homage was dominated by the playful 5/4-meter vamp of, what else, “Take Five.”
— The Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2006
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), Italy PAS Competition (2011, 2012 and 2016), Northwestern Percussion Competition (USA, 2016).
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™ and Innovative Percussion™.
Meanwhile, Andrei composes many arrangements for orchestras and different chamber squads featuring world famous musicians. Furthermore, he creates his own works.