BIOGRAPHY

Music critics describe Ivan Donchev as “refined” (Qobuz Magazine), “full with temperament” (Darmstadter Echo), “gifted with impeccable technique and remarkable ability  to  excite” (Il Cittadino). 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 training at the age of five and went on to attend the “Pancho Vladigerov” National Music School as a student 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 with the Special Distinction at the “Svetoslav Obretenov” National Competiton. In 1997 he has been awarded the “Saint Nicholas” scholarship by the city of Burgas.

Ivan Donchev first came to the attention of the international public and critics at the age of 16, when  he was awarded the Special prize by the Chopin Society in Darmstadt. The same year he won the 1st prize at the 2nd Piano Competition for German and Austrian Music in Burgas and made his debut at the “Gasteig” concert hall in Munich.

Since then Ivan  Donchev has played solo recitals and concerts in leading concert halls throughout Europe, Asia and America. His list of credits include recitals in New York (Merkin Hall), Vienna (Boesendorfer Saall), Moscow (Conservatory, Scriabin Museum), Seoul (Maria Callas Hall, Geumnarae Hall), Berlin (BKI), London (Gustav Holst Hall), Milan (Sala Verdi), Rome (Teatro Palladium, Festival Liszt&Friends), Florence,  Montpellier (Festival de Radio France), Festival dei Due Mondi in SpoletoLa folle journée festival in France, San Sepolcro Symphonia Festival in Tuscany, Apollonia Music Festival in Bulgaria and many  others.

He has performed with New York Festival Orchestra, Roma Tre Orchestra, Florence Chamber Orchestra, Taranto Symphony Orchestra, Marchigiana Philharmonic, Bari Symphonic Orchestra, Pazardzhik Philharmonic, Kronstadt PhilharmonikerJeonju Philharmonic, and many others.

Ivan Donchev has performed with many well known conductors such as Geum No-sang, Albert Schweizer, Hideaki Hirai, Ivan Kozhuharov, David Crescenzi, Yordan Dafov, Stefano Trasimeni, Piero Romano, Grigor Palikarov, Giuseppe Lanzetta, Il Ku Lee and  many 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 recording of Beethoven piano and violin sonatas with violinist Ivo Stankov for Gega new was 5 stars awarded by the British magazine “Musical Opinion”. In 2017 he releases fourth album“Live in Montpellier.”

His  records include broadcasts for RAI 3, Radio France, Radio Classica, BG National Radio and TV.

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).

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.