"A pianist of penetrating intelligence and pellucid technique"
The New Yorker

Serbian American pianist Ivan Ilić (EE-van EE-litch) enjoys a unique place in today’s musical landscape thanks to his unconventional repertoire and multifaceted approach. By combining performing with writing, producing radio and video, and drawing upon key interdisciplinary experiences with visual art, acting, and the neuroscience of learning, he develops new audiences for unfamiliar music.

His eclecticism is reflected in his choice of musical projects, which range from the notoriously difficult Chopin/Godowsky studies, to the delicate abstraction of Morton Feldman, to his most recent enterprise: the rediscovery of music by Beethoven’s Czech friend and contemporary, Antoine Reicha (1770-1836).

In 2016 he began focussing on Reicha’s neglected piano music, which he is recording in a 5-album series for Chandos Records. Volume 1 of the Reicha Rediscovered series, supported by Swiss Radio RTS and the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice, led to a surge of interest in Reicha’s music. Editorial and reviews in the British, German, French, and Italian classical media raised the same question: how is it possible that such remarkable music by a friend of Beethoven, a student of Haydn, and the counterpoint teacher of Liszt, Berlioz, Franck and others, has never been recorded before? After the score languished in the French National Library for over 200 years, a piece from Volume 1 was listened to over 1,000,000 times on Apple Music. This led to a short documentary series about Reicha written and presented by Ilić, which in turn led to a widely-shared feature story in The New York Times. Volume 2 of the series was released in September 2018, with prominent media coverage in Germany, France, Luxembourg, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea and Australia. BBC Music Magazine wrote “In this pianist, Reicha’s music has the best possible advocate”.

Ilić earned degrees in mathematics and music at the University of California Berkeley before moving to Paris with a Hertz Fellowship. He then studied at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, where he received a Premier Prix, and the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris for postgraduate work. The City of Paris sponsored his first recording.

Early career highlights included recitals at Carnegie HallWigmore Hall, Ireland's National Concert Hall, Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio, and the American Academy in Rome. He recently gave recital débuts in Vienna, Sao Paulo, Geneva, and Amsterdam.

Recordings have played a significant role in spreading Ilić’s international recognition. His CD of 24 Préludes by Claude Debussy [2008] received Mezzo Television's Critic's Choice Award in France, and was a Top Five CD of the Year of Fanfare Magazine and Classique News.

His next CD [2012] featured the complete Chopin Studies for the left hand by Leopold Godowsky, a tour-de-force of musicianship and virtuosity. The recording was described as "a major achievement" and "breathtaking" by BBC Radio 3. It featured prominently in The Daily Telegraph [CD of the Week], German MDR Figaro [Top 5 CD], and Czech Radio [5 stars]. The album was broadcast widely across 6 continents. Videos of Ivan Ilić performing Godowsky on YouTube attracted over 500,000 views. Shortly afterwards, he made his acting début in two French short films: Luc Plissonneau's Les Mains and Benoît Maire's Le Berger.

From left hand repertoire, Ilić shifted his focus to US composer Morton Feldman, which led to a trilogy of publications. The first was a CD, The Transcendentalist [2014]. The programme suggested a connection between Scriabin miniatures and late Feldman, with detours in early John Cage and a Feldmanesque new work by Scott Wollschleger. It was the Critic's Choice of BR Klassik [DE], Swiss Radio Espace 2 [CH], Listen Magazine [US], and Classique News [FR]. It was also a CD of the month of Sinfini Music [UK] and TGV Magazine [FR], won a Supersonic Award from Pizzicato Magazine [LU], and garnered 5-star reviews from Harmonie Magazine [CZ] and Aachener Zeitung [DE]. In November 2014 the album was nominated by the International Classical Music Awards for "Album of the Year". Forbes mentioned it in its 2014 list of Top 10 New Classical Releases.

Part 2 of the Feldman Trilogy was an unconventional art book/CD/DVD, published by the Geneva University of Art & Design [2014]. Part 3 – Ilić's recording of "For Bunita Marcus" [2015] – was universally celebrated, with glowing reviews in The Independent [UK], The Washington Post [US], Diapason [FR], Fono Forum [DE], Gramophone [UK], BBC Music Magazine [UK], Classica [FR], BBC Radio 3 Record Review [UK], Piano News [DE], The Sunday Times [UK] and other publications.

Ivan Ilić has written about music for the websites of GramophoneBBC Music MagazineMusic & Literature and Limelight. He has also co-produced several 5-hour radio series for Swiss Radio RTS Espace 2. For 2019-2021 he is Ulster University’s International Musician in Residence. In 2019 he presented a 9-part series about piano repertoire for Swiss Radio. Two new Reicha recordings are due out on Chandos Records in 2020, for the composer's 250th anniversary.

Follow Ivan Ilić on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Apple Music, and Spotify

New promotional photos here (December 2020)
Additional photos here

Order CDs from this website here



For photos of Ivan please see here

###Ivan's newest album (January 2021) is Reicha Rediscovered Volume 3
The disc includes one 86-minute work: Reicha's L’Art de varier, Opus 57

For his third volume of works by Antoine Reicha, pianist Ivan Ilić turns to one of the composer’s most extraordinary works: L'Art de varier, op. 57. "The Art of Variation" consists of fifty-seven variations on an original theme, composed between 1803 and 1804, at the beginning of the six-year period which Reicha spent in Vienna, where he studied with Haydn and re-kindled his friendship with Beethoven.

L'Art de Varier was dedicated to Prince Louis-Ferdinand of Prussia (1772–1806), a talented pianist and composer and the dedicatee of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, op. 37 (likewise composed in 1804). Reicha recounts that the prince had offered him a position as Kapellmeister and teacher of composition, but Reicha preferred to"stay with Haydn longer" and "remain free".

In his autobiography, Reicha wrote: "The quantity of works I composed during my stay in Vienna is surprising. Once I began, my imagination and verve were indefatigable. Ideas appeared to me so quickly that it was impossible to write them all down without losing some."

The fifty-seven variations are of an extreme diversity and originality, as much in terms of pianistic technique as in expressivity. The variations are easy and difficult, virtuosic and not, complicated and not, polyphonic and not, in the major or, occasionally, the minor mode. The theme is sometimes intact, sometimes modified and fragmented. The piece comprises "a kaleidoscope of genres, compositional techniques, and, more often than not, highly technically demanding" (Ana Stefanović).

The work merits comparison with Beethoven's Diabelli Variations (1819–23). As Beethoven was the one who introduced Reicha to Breitkopf & Haertel through his brother Carl, and Reicha and Beethoven shared and studied each other's works, it is all but certain that Beethoven was familiar with L'Art de varier. Following JS Bach's Goldberg Variations, published in 1741, no such monumental work of variations was published until L'Art de varier in 1804.

Reicha reveals himself therein as not only the successor to Bach and a contemporary of Mozart, Haydn, and above all his friend Beethoven, but also the dazzling and visionary forerunner of Chopin, Schumann, Alkan, and Liszt. Ivan Ilić writes: "For the 250th anniversary of Reicha's birth, I wanted to present Reicha's greatest testament to variation form, which is also his longest and most ambitious solo piano work. While preparing the recording, it was startling to encounter the variety of textures and techniques. Sometimes my hands felt like they were playing Haendel, at other times Brahms. I know of no comparable work from the early 19th century which looks both backwards and forwards into music history".

###Ivan recently gave a three-concert series of unusual music at New York's Bargemusic. Read two live reviews from the performance of Hans Otte's "The Book of Sounds": New York Classical Review - Limelight Magazine

###Read Haydn CD reviews in International Piano, La Tribune de Geneve, The Sunday Times, Pizzicato, Classics Today, Resmusica, Limelight, The Arts Desk, Radio Classique. Watch the official release trailer here.

###The Haydn Symphonies CD album is CD of the Week of Classic FM (UK), Radio Classique (FR), and Rondo Magazin (DE), and was among the top-selling classical CD's in the UK upon its release.

###Ivan last album (September 2019) was a transcription of three Haydn Symphonies for solo piano by Carl David Stegmann:

###Watch Ivan perform Grieg on a Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano here.

###Ivan has been appointed International Musician in Residence at Ulster University (UK) for 2018-2021.

###Read the New York Times article about Ivan's Reicha project here.

###Read reviews of Volume 2 of Ivan's Reicha Rediscovered series for Chandos here: Sudwestrundfunk SWR2 (DE) - de Volkskrant (NL) - BBC Music Magazine (UK) - Pizzicato (LU) - The Piano (KO) - International Piano Magazine (UK) - Presto Classical (UK) - Tribune de Geneve (CH) - Album a Day (US) - Classical Ear (UK) - Opus Klassiek (NL) - Classical Source (UK) - Musicalifeiten (NL) - Beethoven et les autres (FR) - MusicWeb International (UK) - Classica (FR)

###Out now: Volume 2 of Ivan's Reicha Rediscovered series for Chandos Records. Order here.

###To complement his Reicha Rediscovered CD series for Chandos Ivan recently filmed a 4-part documentary series about Antoine Reicha which he wrote and presented. Episode 1 (Berlin) is below. Episode 2 (Bonn) is here. Episode 3 (Hamburg) is here. Episode 4 (Vienna) is here.

###Read reviews of Volume 1 of Ivan's Reicha Rediscovered series for Chandos here:
Pizzicato (LU) - The Arts Desk (UK) - Crescendo (DE) - Le Devoir (CA) - Limelight (AUS) - Pianiste (FR) - BBC Music Magazine (UK) - Gramophone (UK) - The Guardian (UK) - Tribune de Genève (CH) - Fono Forum (DE) - FAZ (DE) - International Piano (UK) - Musica (IT) - MusicWeb International (UK) - Classique News (FR) - Piano News (DE) - Républicain Lorrain (FR) - Classical Ear (UK) - Sud Ouest (FR) - Classical Source (UK) - Wanderer (FR) - The Whole Note (CA) - Klassisk Musikk (NO) - Opus Klassiek (NL) - Musicalifeiten (NL) - Anaclase (FR) - Album a Day (US) - Fanfare (US) - Pianist (NL) - Amadeus (IT) - MusikZen (FR) - Classica Voice (IT) - Ape Musicale (IT)

###Read interviews, essays by Ivan and other Reicha-related articles here: Hamburger Abendblatt (DE) - Gramophone (UK) - Pianist (UK) - Diapason (FR) - Le Point (FR) - International Piano (UK) - Radio Classique (FR) - Limelight (AUS) - France Musique (FR) - Classic FM (UK) - Classic Agenda (FR) - RAI 3 (IT) - BBC Radio 3 (UK) - Niusic (DE) - TonArt (DE)

###Volume 1 of Ivan's Reicha Rediscovered series on Chandos was released in September 2017:

###Ivan recently signed a multiple CD contract with UK label Chandos. More information: Chandos - International Piano - Pianist Magazine - Classical Source - Slipped Disc - Pizzicato

###After his Morton Feldman Trilogy, Ivan is now focusing on solo works by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Antoine Reicha.

###Watch Ivan's video of a Haydn Symphony transcription for solo piano:

###Read more about the Haydn-Stegmann transcription on: Gramophone - Pianist Magazine - Limelight Magazine - Slipped Disc - Classique mais pas has been

###Ivan's next CD [2017] will be dedicated to Czech composer Antoine Reicha.
Below, Ivan premieres Reicha's Capriccio, filmed in London in 2015:

###Read an article in the June 2016 issue of German Fono Forum about Ivan's involvement in the rediscovery of Haydn Symphony transcriptions by Karl David Stegmann [Deutsch] - [English]. Christoph Vratz's photo from the interview is here. Also: listen to an interview with German radio WDR 3 recorded in Cologne about the Hadyn/Stegmann transcriptions [link]. Listen to Ivan perform the slow movement of Haydn Symphony no 44 live on BBC Radio 3 [link]. Read a review of the sold-out premiere in Berlin, published by Klassik Heute [link] and Pizzicato [link].

###Ivan also recently performed Reicha live at Radio France:

###In January 2016 Ivan co-produced a 5-hour radio series about Antoine Reicha for Radio Suisse - Espace 2. You can listen to the entire series, Antoine Reicha, le novateur via the links below:
[Episode #1] - [Episode #2] - [Episode #3] - [Episode #4] - [Episode #5]


Ivan Ilic plays Morton Feldman

###Ivan's recording of For Bunita Marcus [1985] was released on 16 October 2015.

###Watch the CD trailer below:

###Feldman CD reviews: Gramophone [link] - BBC Music Magazine [link] - The Independent [link] - Diapason [link] - BBC Radio 3 Record Review - [link] - The Sunday Times [link] - Tribune de Genève [link] - The Washington Post [link] - Fono Forum [link] - Classiquenews [link] - Limelight Magazine [link] - Pizzicato [link] - Piano News [link] - The Whole Note [link] - Audiophile Audition [link] - L'Est Républicain [link] - Facts & Arts [link] - Opus Klassiek [link] - Cross-Eyed Pianist [link] - L'Obs [link] - Sylviane Falcinelli [link] - Classical Ear [link] - Klassik Heute [link] - Artistxite [link] - Planet Hugill [link] - The Guardian [link] - Sinfini Music [link] - Rete Toscana Classica [link] - International Piano [link] - American Record Guide [link] - The Arts Desk [link] - Westzeit [link] - Classica [link] - Concertonet [link]

###Read a summary of Feldman reviews [link]

##Feldman-related interviews: Andante [link] - Pizzicato [link] - Swiss Radio RTS Espace 2 [link] - Classique Mais Pas Has Been [link] - read Ivan's translation of a Feldman interview in Music & Literature [link] - Ivan's expanded Feldman CD liner notes essay published on Music & Literature [link] + two articles Ivan wrote for Morton Feldman's 90th birthday on 12 January: BBC Music Magazine [link] - Slipped Disc [link]


###Part two of Ivan's Morton Feldman Trilogy - the art book Detours Which Have To Be Investigated - was published in November 2014.

Detours Which Have To Be Investigated

Detours Which Have To Be Investigated is an art book/CD/DVD, an homage to composer Morton Feldman. It is the result of a collaboration between Ivan Ilić, visual artist Benoît Maire, AMI graphic design, and the HEAD - Geneva University of Art & Design. The book includes texts and photos, including a never-before published photo of John Cage. The DVD comprises three videos which aim to make Feldman's music accessible to a wider audience. The CD is Ivan Ilić's recording of Feldman's final solo piano work, "Palais de Mari" (1986). Ivan Ilić gave the launch concert at MAMCO, Geneva's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, on 12 November 2014.

###Order the art book/CD/DVD at Mollat.com [link]. Alternatively, you can order it via this website. For more information click here.

###Press related to the art book Detours: a portrait of Ivan in La Tribune de Genève [link] - [English]- an article Ivan recently wrote for Gramophone [link] - Classiquenews [link] - Facts & Arts [link] - Musikzen [link] - Swiss Radio [link] - Classique mais pas has been [link]- L'Obs [link] - interview with Classique News [French] - [English] - a portrait in International Piano [link] - a review in Limelight [link] - a portrait in Swiss newspaper Le Courrier [link] [English] - a live performance on BBC Radio 3's "In Tune" [link] - in-depth interview on The Cross-Eyed Pianist [link] - an interview on Radio Hong Kong RTHK [link] - a concert recorded live for RTHK [link]

###Recent broadcasts across 5 continents include German Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR, Australian ABC Classic FM, Estonian Klassikaraadio, Irish RTÉ Lyric FM, American WFMT Chicago, American Minnesota Public Radio MPR, British BBC Radio 3, South African Classic FM, Swiss Espace 2, Italian Rete Toscana Classica, and Radio 4 Hong Kong.

###Ivan recorded five one-hour episodes of Musique en mémoire for Swiss Radio RTS - Espace 2 about the New York School of Music, originally broadcast in October 2014.
[1. The Principal Characters]
[2. Cage and Feldman]
[3. The Influence of Transcendentalism]
[4. Music and the Visual Arts]
[5. Three Accessible Masterpieces of the New York School]


###Ivan's CD - The Transcendentalist - was released in 2014.

The Transcendentalist (2014)

The Transcendentalist is an exploration of meditative music. It traces a mood from miniatures of Alexander Scriabin to John Cage and Morton Feldman, to a new work by a young American composer: Scott Wollschleger.

John Cage once said: "I would like every man to fix their attention on themselves";
The Transcendentalist encourages this introspection. Through the patient, refined playing of
Ivan Ilić, we have access to a contemplative world of inner calm.

Click here to learn more about The Transcendentalist, and to peruse CD-related press.

For a selection of CD reviews please click here.


###The Godowsky CD was released in 2012. For order information click here.

Paraty 311.205

Click here to learn more about the Godowsky CD, and to peruse Godowsky-related press.

For a selection of Godowsky CD reviews please click here.

###Ivan co-produced an extensive 5-hour radio series about repertoire for the left hand, for Radio Suisse - Espace 2. You can listen to the entire series, "Maladroite la main gauche?" via the links below:
[1. The virtuosic left hand]
[2. Leopold Godowsky: the Paganini of the piano]
[3. Paul Wittgenstein, the one-armed pianist]
[4. Ravel, Prokofiev, Strauss, and Britten... Concertos for a one-armed pianist]
[5. A compendium of solo works for the left hand]


###The short film Les Mains by Luc Plissonneau is now available below. Ivan plays the lead role of Izak in a love story about an introverted pianist and Lucie, his student muse.



John Cage Dream

Debussy La Cathédrale engloutie

Godowsky Chopin Etude #2 for the left hand alone

Beethoven Sonata Opus 109/III

Liszt Variations on a theme by Bach, "Weinen, Klagen"

Brahms Intermezzo in E Major

Recorded with the generous support of the City of Paris Mairie de Paris

Visit the audio archive here.



"The warm tone, velvety touch and the intimate, dreamlike atmosphere he creates are admirable."
Diapason, France

"Ivan Ilić succeeds in transforming the acrobatics to open jubilation and aesthetic ecstasy."
Top 5 CD of the Month
Classique News, France [link]

"Ivan Ilić deserves a medal for his purposeful, intelligent grasp of this taxing music."
International Record Review, UK [pdf]

"Ivan Ilić achieves a very musical performance, and technically impressive, especially articulation-wise. If his goal was to generate the radiant chopinite spectre of voices and colours with five fingers according to Godowsky's arrangement, he succeeds utterly."
Harmonie Magazine, Czech Republic [pdf]

"His playing is brilliant and luminous. A fine, impressive recording by an outstanding pianist."
Piano News
, Germany [link]

"The legato and polish of his playing are exemplary."
Fono Forum, Germany [link]

"Looking at the score will make you dizzy. But Ilić's interpretation is pure poetry."
Vltava maximum (5* rating)
Czech Radio 3 - Vltava, Czech Republic [link]

"Ivan Ilić masters these touchstones seemingly effortlessly!"
Top 5 CD of the Week
MDR Figaro, Germany [link]

"A virile touch and well-controlled passion."
Concertonet.com, France.

"His musical intelligence runs deep...this was virtuosity of the mind as much as of digital dexterity."
Irish Times, Ireland. [link]

"He is a magisterial technician, with a formidable brain and a far-reaching sensibility that reaches far further than the immediacy of his sleeve or his heartbeat."
Classical Source, UK. [link]

"The program was an adventure in learning as well as a brilliant display of technical prowess, all free of clichés."
San Francisco Classical Voice, USA. [link]

"Ivan Ilić takes on Claude Debussy’s Préludes in an entirely original and fascinating way."
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, Austria. [link]

"Ivan Ilić, an American based in Paris, has a deftness of touch that allows him control over both Debussy’s exuberant climaxes and his quiet, subtle moments."
Mail & Guardian, South Africa. [link]

"His playing is characterised by clarity, vivacity and his intuitive feel for systems in the music...one to watch."
Le Monde de la Musique, France.

"Ivan Ilić’s approach is intimate and poetic without being over-indulgent; this is spirited and carefully distilled playing."
International Record Review, UK.

For a selection of CD reviews from 2012 please click here.

For a substantial selection of reviews from 2006-2009 please click here.



For engagements in Germany/Austria please contact:
Krystian Nowakowski
Kutschkergasse 42/9
1180 Wien
Tel: +43 (1) 956 98 25
Mobile: +43 (0) 676 964 2800


For engagements in France and French-speaking Switzerland/Belgium/Canada:
Mobile: +33 (0)6 3275 5406