Next Festival
28 March
4 – 9 April
25 June
Alexey Botvinov - president of the festival
Olena Zazulia - director of the festival
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Alexey Botvinov

Alexey Botvinov


      Alexey Botvinov is an exceptional pianist, musical innovator and producer. The most acclaimed Ukrainian pianist, Botvinov is one of the best specialists in Rachmaninoff music. He performed in 47 countries. Botvinov is the only pianist in the world who performed Bach‘s masterpiece „Goldberg Variations“ more than 300 times on stage. Alexey Botvinov is founder and president of “Odessa Classics”, one of the leading music festivals in Eastern Europe.

      2021 Alexey Botvinov and star violinist Daniel Hope made a recording of Alfred Schnittke music for violin and piano at “Deutsche Grammophon” with big success worldwide. The next recording on DG of Botvinov and Hope was created right after the start of war in Ukraine, in March 2022, as a charity project 'Music for Ukraine". With this album Ukrainian classical music for the first time ever landed on 1st place of classical charts in many countries. September 2022 Botvinov and Hope released a new recording on DG with Valentin Silvestrov music. Next recording of Alexey Botvinov on DG has been released June 2023 with the 3rd Piano Concerto of Philip Glass and the Double Concerto of Tan Dun with D.Hope and the “New Century Orchestra”, followed by a ten concerts‘ tour in Germany.

      2022 Botvinov performed in Tonhalle Zurich, Berlin Philharmonie, Dresden Frauenkirche, Philharmonic halls of Tallin, Vilnius, Thessaloniki, Bremen, major concert venues of Paris, Lugano, Taormina, Basel, Baden, Pordenone, Kaunas; festivals in Pietrasanta, Augsburg, Istanbul, Val Saisera; seven concerts in Beethoven-Haus Bonn; five concerts on Australia-Tour in Sydney and Canberra.

      2023 the pianist played four concerts in California with the San Francisco “New Century Chamber Orchestra”, then performed in Zurich, Warsaw, Vilnius, Mainz, Istanbul, Izmir, Bonn, Tallinn, Bern, Thessaloniki etc.

      Peoples’ Artist of Ukraine, in his country’s press he is described with words like “symbol of high spirit” or “true mark for authentic sense of music”.


      Alexey Botvinov was born in an all-musicians family in Odessa, where he studied with Prof. Mogilewskaja and later at the Conservatory of Odessa with Prof. Kardaschew. 1987-89 he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory with Prof. Gornostayeva. His last mentor was the legendary pianist Alexis Weissenberg. Botvinov is a prize-winner of such important piano competitions as the 1st Rachmaninow-Competition in Moscow (1983), the 8th International Bach-Competition in Leipzig (1988) and the 1st Clara-Schumann-Competition in Dusseldorf (1994). In 1993 he played Tchaikovsky's First piano concerto for the opening of the concert season at the Tonhalle Zurich with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Moscow under the baton of Vladimir Fedoseyev, which was highly acclaimed by press and audience.

      During the years 1994-96 Alexey Botvinov lived in Dusseldorf (Germany), where he performed Bach's "Goldberg-Variations" and Schumann's "Kinderszenen" with the ballet productions by the famous Swiss choreographer Heinz Spoerli. After that the artistic cooperation with Heinz Spoerli continued in Zurich from 1996 to 2012 with over 20 different ballet productions to music by Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Schnittke, Stravinsky with great acclaim. The pianist was on many tours with the Zurich Balett in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Great Britain, Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Russia, Japan, Canada, South Africa etc.

      For his breathtaking performance of "Goldberg-Variations" ballet in June 2001 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin the press wrote: “a real firework at the piano” (“Berliner Kurier”). “Le Figaro” wrote about the pianist’s CD of “Goldberg-Variations”: “Superbe!” This recording landed on the 2nd place in Swiss music-charts. The next recording - “Botvinov plays Rachmaninoff” (2002) - was acclaimed as “ the best classical recording of the month” in Switzerland.

      In 2005 he played his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall London and in 2006 – at the Berlin Philharmonie.

      During 2006 he was on tours in China with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and in Belgium and Germany with the Koenigliche Philharmonie Flandern.

      2009/2010 Botvinov was Artistic Director of the Odessa National Opera Theater. During that time he initiated two premieres: the opera “Turandot” with director C. von Goetz (Germany) and the ballet “Nureyev forever” with solo piano by A.Botvinov. They were the very first modern-concept productions of the opera theaters in Ukraine ever.

      Recently Botvinov explores new ways of presenting classical music. Among his new innovative projects there are “Visual reality of Music”, “Piano Light Show” and “4 Elements”, where music and visual effects have converted a traditional concert into a multimedia mystery.

      2010 Botvinov started the unique “Piano and Drums”–project, which combines piano masterpieces with oriental rhythms by the world star percussionist Burhan Ocal. There were dozens of concerts in Paris, Zurich, Istanbul, Moscow, Basel, Abu-Dhabi , Kiev, Odessa and at the Montreux Jazz-Festival.

      2011 Botvinov created another highly innovative project – a synthesis of Drama Theater and classical concert. Based on a novel by the Swiss-Russian writer M. Shishkin, “The Light and the Dark”, Botvinov made his debut as a theater director in an art-project, where his solo performance harmonizes on stage with drama actors. The project was highly successful in Ukraine and later in a German-speaking version at several Swiss theaters.

      2015 Botvinov together with his wife Elena founded the International Music Festival “ODESSA CLASSICS”, where he is President and artistic director. The annual festival was a sensational success and became the most important classical music festival in the Ukraine and one of the leading music festivals in Europe.

      In November 2015 Alexey Botvinov was awarded the title “People’s Artist of Ukraine”, the highest artistic achievement in the Ukraine.

      2018 Botvinov performed 11 times the “Goldberg Variations” ballet in La Scala, Milano, with an extraordinary success among audience and music critics. The Italian press praised Botvinov’s performance as a “perfect interpretation of Bach’s masterpiece”, and as “white magic on piano”.

      2018-2019 Botvinov performed solo and with orchestras in such venues as Berlin Philharmonie , Gewandhaus Leipzig, Zurich Tonhalle, Hamburg Philharmonie, Dresden Frauenkirche, Beethovenhaus Bonn and many more. 2019 Botvinov performed Gershwin and Schulhoff concertos on tour in Germany with the San Francisco “New Century Orchestra” under baton of Daniel Hope.

      2020 Alexey Botvinov became a “Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy”, conferred by the President of the Italian Republic, and in the same year received the “Swiss Wilhelm Tell Award-2020” from the Swiss government.

      Since 2022 “Odessa Classics” continues its history as a festival in exile, with editions in Tallinn, Thessaloniki, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zurich.

Official site