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Igor Zavadsky is the Honoured Artist of Ukraine; laureate of international competitions in France, Italy, Ireland, and Spain; holder of the Gold Medal award (France); the only holder in the world of three highest awards of Golden Lira international accordionist competitions (one obtained in Italy and two – in Ireland); and the first Ukrainian musician included in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Igor was born in the town of Inta, in the north of Russia, where his father had worked as a miner. He is the seventh child in the family. When he was seven, his family moved to the town of Ekibastuz (Kazakhstan). At the age of 11, he enrolled there at a music school. Igor continued his musical education in the city of Zaporizhzhia (Ukraine) where he moved together with his parents at the age of 12.

When 16 years old, he enrolled at the Zaporizhzhia State Music High School. After the graduation, he obtained a distinction.

At 20, Igor entered P.I. Tchaikovsky Kyiv State Conservatoire. After passing final exams with honors, he was assigned to work in the town of Boryspil (Kyiv Oblast) as choir accompanist with the House of Culture at Boryspilskyi State Farm and, in the period from 26 to 28 years old, as art manager and director with that House of Culture.

At 27, after obtaining the first concert instrument of his own, he started active performance activity.

At 28, the musician won the Gold Medal award and became a laureate of Grand Prix, an international accordionist competition held in France (Andrezieux-Boutheon).

At 29, he was awarded the Golden Lira, the main prize of Stefano Bizzarri international accordionist competition in Italy, with the highest score of 100 points out of 100 possible, which became a unique event in the longstanding history of international competitions. Three months after this success, he enrolled at the postgraduate performance department of P.I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy.

Thus, Igor Zavadsky’s musical education comprised altogether 17 years:
5 years – music school (in the 1st grade, the teacher in the specialty area was Viktor Mykhailovych Solodkov; from the 2nd to the 5th grade – Yevhen Anatoliiovych Davydov);
4 years – music high school (teacher Anatolii Hryhorovych Petrychenko’s class);
5 years – conservatoire and 3 years of studying in the postgraduate performance department at the same institution (under the new name of P.I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine) (professor Mykola Andriiovych Davydov’s class).

It should be noted that Igor Zavadsky had a two years’ experience of teaching at the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts as well as a four years’ experience as lead solo instrumentalist at the Poltava Oblast State Philharmonic Society and worked in the same position at the Khmelnytskyi Oblast State Philharmonic Society during another four years.

January 23, 2020 – became a radio host on Emigrant Radio. Conducts the author's program "Chords with Igor Zavadsky on Thursdays".


In addition to Igor Zavadsky’s numerous prizes and awards (some of them are available on the musician’s website) won in competitions, two more should be pointed out:

On December 28, 2000, the President of Ukraine issued the Order to award a title of the Honoured Artist of Ukraine to Igor Zavadsky for outstanding achievements in professional activity and sustained and committed work. According to the Secretary of the President’s Administration’s Award Department, among many other orders submitted to the President for signature in random manner, this one happened to be the last order signed by him in the outgoing millennium.

On May 6, 2002, the Blessed Metropolitan Bishop of Kyiv and All Ukraine Volodymyr awarded him with the Third Degree Order of Saint Prince Volodymyr for contributing in the development of highly spiritual music art and numerous charity concerts.

Extraordinary Achievements

On June 25, 2003, a peculiar mini-competition took place at the international accordionist festival in Chicago between the best accordionist of the United States Stas Venglevski (President of the prestigious Accordionists and Teachers Guild, a former USSR citizen currently residing in Chicago; he is a favourite of the local audience) and the best representative of Europe Igor Zavadsky. The winner was to be determined by the loudness of audience’s applause. Each of them played his repertoire for 20 minutes. After Igor Zavadsky’s performance, the hall rose in applause and the festival’s President Joan Summers asked him to come back on the scene and play an encore. It was a victory. “The best of the best”, wrote thereafter the American on-line Literary Magazine Russian Globe (No. 6, June 2003) about Igor Zavadsky.

On July 7, 2005, during the international folk festival in Kimberley (British Columbia, Canada) he took part in holding a new Guinness Book world record for the largest accordionists’ orchestra in the world – 644 performers from 5 countries played potpourri on famous American and Canadian themes together 30 minutes long. Igor was a soloist of this orchestra and the only representative of Ukraine. The previous record was held on June 1, 2000, in Diepenheim, Netherlands, where 566 accordionists played in unison for 22 minutes.

On March 1, 2006, he was awarded the Gold Medal as the best musician in the instrumental music category at the competition held during the first international cat festival (Lloret de Mar, Spain) were participants had to wear cat costumes. Igor chose the Puss in Boots costume, as in Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, and so performed his competition program.

On September 1, 2019, he won the Gold medal in his age category in the "Kyivska Sotka" ("Kyiv Hundred") amateur cycling marathon, having covered a distance of 102 km on a mountain bike in 3 hours 33 minutes and 13 seconds. In 2020 and 2021 at the same cycling marathon he won bronze medals.

Audio and Video Recordings

From 2001 to 2019, recorded and released were 15 music albums (22 CDs) and 3 DVDs with of Igor Zavadsky’s concert recordings made in various Kyiv halls (Operetta Theatre, International Center of Culture and Arts, Ukraine Palace), TV recordings, documentary film about him titled “Tango of Freedom”, and a video clip featuring Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango”.

Traditions of Igor Zavadsky

Since January 20, 1998, on his birthdays, he has been organizing gala concerts in Kyiv. Igor invites artists and creative teams from Ukraine and other countries to participate in them.

Since November 2003, he has been giving monthly concerts in Kyiv’s Actor’s House (January 2022, the 158th solo concert of the musician was held in this hall).

Since May 2004, when accordion’s 175th anniversary was celebrated, he has been organizing each year original mini-festivals dedicated to the birthday of accordion which are held in the Actor’s House in Kyiv and to which he invites talented accordionists from Ukraine and other countries whose performances are recorded on CDs. This unique practice helps bring up new generations of accordion lovers.

Concert Tours

1513 solo concerts of Igor Zavadsky were held in Ukraine (94 localities) and other countries such as: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, the Check Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Iceland, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Ireland...

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