Ivan Skanavi was born in Moscow in 1996 and began cello lessons with Tamara Alekseeva at the age of six. He continued his studies with Alexey Seleznev at the Moscow State P. Tchaikovsky Conservatory and with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar. He has also attended masterclasses with David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Ivan Monighetti, Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Alban Gerhardt, Jérôme Pernoo, Norbert Anger, Thorleif Thedeen, Claudio Bohorquez, Julius Berger, Jens Peter Maintz, Eckart Runge, Laszlo Fenyo and Boris Andrianov.

Ivan has won prizes at the Russian National Cello Competition, the Ton&Erklärung Cello Competition in Hanover and the TONALi competition. In 2019, he reached the semi-final of the Tchaikovsky International Competition and the second round of the ARD International Music Competition. He holds a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein.

He has performed with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra, the Academic Symphonic Orchestra of the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the South-West German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim, and at the Verbier Music Festival, the festival “Sheremetev’s seasons in Ostankino”, the I Mozartini Festival in Italy and the Beethoventage.

Ivan plays a cello by David Tecchler from 1698.