Lev Sivkov, winner of the 2015 Naumburg Cello Competition was born in 1990 in Novosibirsk, Russia where he started studying cello at age five. Since July 2017 he has served as principal cellist of the Zurich Opera in Switzerland. Prior to that he was principal cellist of the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, Denmark. On the occasion of his US debut in San Francisco, Joshua Kosman writing for the San Francisco Gate (January 2016) said, "the robust young Russian cellist who made an impressive debut." He said about Lev's playing of Khachaturian's Sonata-Fantasy in C, "This 15-minute showpiece amounts to a freewheeling catalog of everything a successful cellist needs to be able to do - from rapid-fire passagework to broad, soulful oratory - and Sivkov dug into the music like a dog attacking a T-bone."
From 2005-2009 he was a student at the Music-Academy in Basle, Switzerland where he studied with Monighetti. He later attended the Music-Academy in Stuttgart, Germany with C. Brotbek and in Freiburg with Jean-Guihen Queyras. He has participated in master classes with Janos Starker at Indiana University, W.E. Schmidt at Germany's Kronberg Music Festival, and with Ferenc Rados in the Prussia Cove Music Seminars in England. Among other first prize awards are the Julio Cardona String Performers International Competition (Covilha, Portugal); the Dominick Cello Prize at the International Competition (Stuttgart, Germany), and the Gavrilin International Music Competition (Vologda, Germany). In addition, he was awarded the Prize of the Jury at the International Lutoslawski Cello Competition (Warsaw, Poland). Lev