Music critics describe Ivan Donchev as “refined” (“Qobuz Magazine”, France), “full with temperament” (“Darmstadter Echo”, Germany), “gifted with impeccable technique and remarkable ability to excite” (“Il Cittadino”, Italy). The legendary pianist Aldo Ciccolini defined him as “an artist gifted with extraordinary musical and instrumental skills”.
Ivan Donchev was born in Burgas (Bulgaria) on 11 August 1981. He began his musical studies at the age of five at “Pancho Vladigerov” National Music School in the class of Julia Nenova. Three years later he gave his first public recital. In 1993 – at the age of twelve – he made his concerto debut with Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D. Two weeks later he won the first prize at the “Svetoslav Obretenov” National Competiton. In 1997 he has been awarded by the city of Burgas with the honorable scholarship “Talent of the year”.
Ivan Donchev first came to the attention of the international public and critics at the age of 16, when he was awarded a special prize by the Chopin Society in Darmstadt. The same year he won the 1st prize at the second Piano International Piano Competition for German and Austrian Music in Burgas and made his debut at the “Gasteig” concert hall in Munich.
In his youth Donchev has distinguished himself as a top prize winner of several international competitions: “Svetoslav Obretenov” – 1994; (Bulgaria); “EMCY” (Dublin) – 1996; “Carl Filtsch” (Romania) 1997; “Città di Monopoli – Gran Prize Ecomusic” 2000; “Premio Seiler” Palermo – 2001; “Sergio Fiorentino” Morcone – 2004, “Giuseppe Terracciano” – 2005 and “Società Umanitaria” – Milan 2008.
Ivan Donchev has performed as a soloist in most of the major European cities and concert halls and has regularly toured in Europe, Asia and America. His list of credits include recitals in New York (Merkin Hall), Vienna (Boesendorfer Saall), Moscow (Scriabin Museum), Seoul (Maria Callas Hall), Dublin, Berlin, London, Milan (Sala Verdi), Rome (Festival Liszt&Friends), Florence, Naples, Palermo, Montpellier (Festival de Radio France), 58th Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, San Sepolcro Symphonia Festival in Tuscany, Apollonia Music Festival in Bulgaria and many others. He has performed with New York Festival Orchestra, Florence Chamber Orchestra, Taranto Symphony Orchestra, Marchigiana Philharmonic, Bari Symphonic Orchestra, Pazardzhik Philharmonic, Kronstadt Philharmoniker, Jeonju Philharmonic, Discovery Ensemble and many others.
Ivan Donchev has performed with many well known conductors such as Albert Schweizer, Ivan Kozhuharov, David Crescenzi, Yordan Dafov, Stefano Trasimeni, Piero Romano, Grigor Palikarov, Giuseppe Lanzetta, Geum No-sang, Il Koo Lee and others.
He has received the “Sorrento Classica” prize from the hands of his mentor Aldo Ciccolini and in 2011 they have performed a memorable four hands concert at Fenetrange Music Festival in France.
His repertoire covers many of the most relevant piano works, ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to contemporary composer (he is particulary devoted to Liszt’s and Beethoven’s music).
Donchev has recorded the world premiere of Vito Palumbo’s Quadro Sinfonico Concertante (dedicated to him by the author) and all Tchaykovsky’s piano concertos. In 2011 he has released the complete recording of Liszt’s “Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses” for Sheva Collection. The recent recording of Beethoven piano and violin sonatas with violinist Ivo Stankov for Gega new was 5 stars awarded by the prestigious British magazine “Musical Opinion”. His records include broadcasts for RAI 3, Radio France, Radio Classica, BG National Radio and TV. Very active in chamber music, he has obtained his master degree at “Santa Cecilia”Conservatory of Music in Rome and holds BM degrees both in classical and jazz piano.
Ivan Donchev regularly gives masterclasses in Italy, Bulgaria, US, South Korea and Japan. He acts as a jury member in international piano competitions and several of his students have received awards and merits.
Ivan Donchev currently lives in Rome, a city that allows him to follow his numerous interests, ranging from drama to history, to figurative arts, to opera. He is passionate about literature, cinema and martial arts. He has achieved the black belt (1st dan) in Karate.
“Impeccable technique and great ability to excite”
"Ivan Donchev is gifted with extraordinary musical and instrumental skills".
“Refined and concentrated, with a fine sound palette”
" A superb young virtuoso ".
" One of the best pianists of the moment ".
“Elegant approach to the best music of the twentieth century”
“Great excitement and success”
“Not only an exceptional talent but also a mature musical personality...”
“An excellent CD..”
“Excellent technical quality and sensitivity”
“Technical brilliance and energy..fingers full of character”
“Spectacular proof of transcendental pianism ”.
" Ivan Donchev is a magnificent pianist. He has a strong virtuoso technique, impeccable taste and a real sense of style in his broad and varied repertoire.
His performances are exciting, full of life and very moving ".