A pianist of real personality, his name is one to remember
Le Monde de la Musique

A mountaineer of a musician
BBC Radio 3

The legato and polish of his playing are exemplary
Fono Forum

Fidelity to what the score says is impeccable
Classical Music Magazine

Described by the New Yorker as an "adventurous pianist" who "likes his music on the brainy side," Ivan Ilić is building a strong international reputation. A student of François-René Duchâble, Ivan has earned support from the American Foundation in Paris, the Karić Foundation in Belgrade, the University of Illinois, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and the Nadia Boulanger Foundation in Paris.

Ivan started music studies at age 6. He earned degrees in mathematics and music at the University of California, Berkeley before moving to Paris on a fellowship from the university. Shortly afterwards Ivan was admitted to the esteemed Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, where he took a Premier Prix in piano performance. The City of Paris sponsored his first recording.

Career highlights include recitals at Carnegie Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), the National Concert Hall (Dublin), Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto), and the American Academy in Rome. Other recent engagements include recital débuts in Vienna and Sao Paulo.

Ivan's CD of 24 Préludes by Claude Debussy received Mezzo Television's Critic's Choice Award in France, and was featured as a Top Five CD of the Year in America's Fanfare Magazine. It was also selected by Classique News in France as a Top 5 CD of the Month. The disc was broadcast on Radio France, BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 Netherlands, American Public Radio, and Radio Hong Kong, as well as major classical music stations in Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Ireland, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Canada, and South Africa.

His last CD (2012) features the complete Chopin Studies for the left hand by Leopold Godowsky, a veritable tour-de-force of musicianship and virtuosity. The recording, described as "a major achievement" and "breathtaking" by BBC Radio 3, was the The Daily Telegraph's CD of the Week, a Top 5 CD of MDR Figaro in Germany and a Top 5 CD of Classique News in France. It also received a perfect 5-star rating by Czech Radio 3 - Vltava.

Videos of Ivan performing Godowsky on YouTube have attracted over half a million views. He recently made his acting début in two French short films: Luc Plissonneau's Les Mains, and Benoît Maire's Le Berger. Ivan's next CD will include music by Morton Feldman and John Cage, and he is currently finalizing an art book/CD/DVD about Feldman to be published by the HEAD - Geneva University of Art & Design in October 2014.

For more information please visit www.IvanCDG.com.

[For promotional photos, please see here, here and here]

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###Ivan's new CD, The Transcendentalist is released in June 2014.

The Transcendentalist (2014)

The Transcendentalist is an exploration of meditative music. It traces a mood from the miniatures of Alexander Scriabin to John Cage and Morton Feldman, to a new work by 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.

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###A new in-depth interview in German was just published by The Listener [link], as well as two new reviews: Pizzicato Magazine in Luxembourg gave The Transcendentalist their "Supersonic Pizzicato" Award [link] [translation] and Sinfini Music published an excellent review: "Ilić's classy keyboard sound [is] full, rounded and beautiful from start to finish" [link]

###A new in-depth interview with Ivan was just published by Pianobleu [link] [translation]

###Ivan was interviewed at length on France Musique's Le Magazine on 30 June [link] [transcript]

###Buffalo News critic Jeff Simon called the new CD "fascinating" [link] and the Aachener Zeitung gave the CD 5 stars: "the beauty of his sound is a phenomenon" [link]

###The new CD is a "Critic's Choice" of German BR Klassik FM [link] [translation] [listen]
"...here virtuosity is a question of the mind and of independence, not of technical finesse. The same can be said of Ivan Ilić, a sound philosopher on the piano. After the final note of "The Transcendentalist" has faded, you actually feel: enlightened."

###Radio France's France Culture channel just presented the CD [link] [translation]

###Ivan wrote a blog for Gramophone Magazine about the importance of research [link]

###Here is a new video in which Ivan explains the link between Scriabin and Feldman:

###The latest news: ClassiqueNews awarded The Transcendentalist its highest honor, a CLIC Award [link] [translation] - Radio France broadcast the CD on Changez de Disque [link] - Ivan was interviewed live on Radio 3 Hong Kong [link] - he also recorded a 40 minute concert for Radio 4 Hong Kong, to be broadcast by Music With Friends - BBC Radio 3 broadcast two excerpts of the new CD on The Breakfast Show recently - popular French blog Classique Mais Pas Has Been reviewed the CD [link] - the album is classical CD of the month in the June issue of TGV Magazine [link] - Facts & Arts published the first English-language CD review [link] - Qobuz.com in France published a lovely short review of the CD [link] [translation] - Maxine Frost of Seattle just published an extended interview with Ivan on her blog [part 1] - [part 2] - [part 3] - the CD will soon be in rotation on Czech Radio Classic FM - watch a new video interview with Ivan by Melanie Spanswick on YouTube [link] [transcript] - new interviews will be published by German magazine Piano News and Deutschlandfunk Radio soon - Slovak Hudobny zivot just reviewed the new CD [link] [translation] - Other upcoming interviews with Ivan Ilić include Klassik TV (Germany), Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Germany), Classic FM (South Africa), ClassiqueNews (France) and Rádio Devín (Slovakia).

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###Here is a video in which Ivan explains the title of The Transcendentalist.
The music is an excerpt of Music Without Metaphor (2013) by Scott Wollschleger.

###Read about the album's visuals here.

###Order the new CD below, worldwide shipping included:

Number of copies
Buy CD


###Here is the trailer for The Transcendentalist. The music is Dream (1948) by John Cage:



###Ivan's latest interview, in two parts, was just broadcast by Ireland's Lyric FM. Ivan chats with Luke Clancy of Culture File about the links between Alexander Scriabin, John Cage and Morton Feldman. They also discuss Scriabin's synaethesia and manifestations of colors at the piano.

Part one:

Part two:


###Australia's Limelight Magazine just published an article about Paul Wittgenstein including an interview with Ivan. The PDF of the article is here, the online version is here. A separate bonus interview is now published on Limelight here. A PDF is available here.

###Ivan's video of Godowsky's "Chopin Study no. 13" now has over 500,000 views on YouTube.

###Recent broadcasts include Classic FM South Africa, YLE 1 Finland, Radio Beethoven in Chile, WMRA Virginia, Seattle's Classical King FM, Radio Cultura FM in Sao Paulo, MEC FM in Rio de Janeiro, German stations Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3 and Nordwestradio/Radio Bremen, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and RTÉ Lyric FM in Ireland. The entire Godowsky CD (70+ minutes) was recently broadcast on Finland's Yle Klassinen.

###Luxemburg's Pizzicato Magazine recently published a review of the Godowsky CD.
"Ivan Ilić, despite an astonishing technique, does not forget the musical side. He even seems more interested in poetry than pure virtuosity, more interested in refined eloquence than by the brilliance inherent in the music. He proves that those who had declared war on Godowsky were wrong."

###Over the past 2 years, German television station Classica has regularly broadcast 6 videos of Ivan playing Ravel and Godowsky works for the left hand. More information is available in German here and here. Classica is broadcast in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Korea, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, and Taiwan.

###British magazine International Record Review reviewed the Godowsky CD:
"Ilić pulls off [Study number 18a] superbly, threading through it a consistently clear melodic line while carefully subduing the inner parts...brilliantly fulfilled."

###Listen to a BBC Radio 3 podcast about left-hand repertoire featuring Ivan's recordings and voice here. Presenter Suzy Klein calls Ivan's playing "breathtaking". Ivan's voice was also heard in this podcast on 27 September. And this podcast on 9 October.

###Diapason Magazine in Paris:
"Ivan Ilić devotes himself to an incredibly painstaking task....he makes us forget the pianistic tricks, and the musical athletics: he gives us music. The warm tone, velvety touch and the intimate, deliberately dreamlike atmosphere he creates are admirable. The lyrical studies are the best - especially the Opus 25 no. 1 and the Nouvelles Etudes. And the Opus 25 no. 12 is absolutely epic!"

###Listen to an hour-long interview with Ivan on Radio France.

###German Piano News magazine:
"...
his playing is brilliant and luminous. A fine, impressive recording by an outstanding pianist." [article in German here] Piano News also just reviewed Ivan's Debussy CD. [link]

###Two new Czech reviews (July):
Hudebni Rozhledy
[link], Opus Musicum [page 1 - page 2 - English translation]

###Fanfare: "Ivan Ilić plays [the studies] with a beautiful tone, lovely style, and excellent legato."

###German magazine Fono Forum: "The legato and polish of his playing are exemplary." [link]

###The Irish Times following a recent live performance in Dublin:
"What was most striking about his playing was its sense of focus. He knows what he wants, and how to get it. He played both the Brahms arrangement of Bach and the Godowsky studies with an unusual rigour...The intelligent clarity of the musical thinking was impressive."

###Prominent German radio station MDR Figaro (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) selected the CD among their Top 5 CDs of the Week on June 4th. [link]

###Czech National Radio CRo 3 - Vltava reviewed the Godowsky CD on the programme Rondo and gave it the highest possible rating. [link]

###German radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur featured the CD prominently on May 11th.
They will broadcast the CD again on the programme Einstand on June 15th.

###8 new reviews: Oberosterreichische Nachrichten (Austria), Radio Vltava (Czech Republic), Codaex (Germany), l'Education Musicale (France), Mania klassiek (Netherlands), Clavier Companion (USA), Klassik Heute (Germany), BBC Music Magazine (United Kingdom)

###International Piano Magazine (London): "...beautifully recorded, these studies emerge in his hands as immaculately crafted jewels on which he has lavished care and obvious affection. Though there is undoubted novelty value in hearing such gems as the 'Revolutionary' played a semitone up and by one hand, the experience is as musically rewarding as it is intriguing. I salute Ilić's playing and ambition." [link]

###Prominent British critic Norman Lebrecht selected the CD among his CDs of the Week.

###Slovak Magazine Hudobny zivot: "Ilić is witty, captivating and elegant: his performances are full of musical charm and emotional depth." (April 2012)

###Ivan was a guest on BBC Radio 3 programme 'In Tune' on April 13th. Listen here.

###Sud Ouest, an influential French regional newspaper, published a new article about Ivan.

###The Daily Telegraph chose the CD as their Classical CD of the week.

###French musicologist Sylviane Falcinelli did an in-depth interview with Ivan recently.

###BBC Radio 3 broadcast the CD on March 10th on the programme CD Review.
The presenter called the album "a major achievement".

###Classic FM broadcast the CD on David Mellor's The New CD Show on March 24th.

###Classique News selected the CD as a Top 5 CD of the month for March.
The English version is here; the original in French is here.

###Ivan plays the title role in Izak's Choice, a new short film by Luc Plissonneau.
The film was just awarded a prize at the Festival Europeen du court metrage de Sens in Burgundy.

Recent interviews: Pianobleu.com (in French) - Earbits - Clavier Companion

The Washington Times website just published Ivan's 2-part article about Leopold Godowsky.
Part one is here - Part two is here

Serbia's Ilustrovana Politika recently published an in depth profile of Ivan.
Ilustrovana Politika is the weekly magazine of Politika, Serbia's newspaper of record.
An English translation is here. The original in Serbian is here.

Hungarian Fidelio Magazine: "A Godowsky Renaissance"

Branimir Pofuk, in Croatia's #1 newspaper Večernji list, combines music and politics

A new Godowsky video is now on YouTube:

###The new Godowsky CD is now available. Shipping is free anywhere in the world.

Paraty 311.205

Click on the button below to order. Use your credit card or Paypal account.

How many CDs?
Signed or Unsigned
Purchase Ivan's CDs via Paypal


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A Selection of Recent Broadcasts:

Western Europe
- Live 1-hour interview on Radio France on April 16th (L'humeur vagabonde with Kathleen Evin)
- Live interview and performance on BBC Radio 3 on April 13th (In Tune with Sean Rafferty)
- German Deutschlandradio Kultur on May 11th (Radiofeuilleton)
- Italian Radio Classica (Ultimo Grido with Luca Ciammarughi)
- German Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3 (Die Mittagspause) on November 6th
- German
Nordwestradio/Radio Bremen (Musikwelt) on October 24th
- Classic FM on March 24th (The New CD Show with David Mellor)
-
BBC Radio 3 on March 10th (CD review with Andrew McGregor)
- BBC Radio 3 on October 3rd (In Tune with Suzy Klein)
- Radio France (France Musique) on the two shows Musique Matin and Changez de Disque.
-
Belgian VRT Radio Klara on February 2nd (Café Zimmermann with Mark Janssens)
- Radio 4 Holland on February 4th (Pianistenuur with Frederic Voorn)
-
Norwegian NRK Klassisk on January 28th
-
40 minute broadcast on Concertzender on February 6th.
-
RTÉ Lyric FM is the media sponsor for Ivan's upcoming Irish tour.
- Belgian RTBF Musiq'3 on January 26th 2012 (Autour de Midi with Michel Debrocq)
-
Spanish Catalunya Ràdio in Barcelona on December 17th (MP Clàssics with Ester Pinart)
-
Venice Classic Radio on March 15th, 22nd, 26th, and 27th.
- An interview on Frequence Protestante on June 3rd in Paris (Cantabile with Marc Portehaut)

Eastern/Central Europe

- Slovakian National Radio (Rádio Devín) on March 22nd (Virtuóz with Zuzana Adamkovičová)
- Croatian
National Radio on January 23rd and 27th (HRT1 and HRT3 with Jana Haluza)
- Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) on April 7th (Multicultural dialogs with Tsvetelina Nacheva)
- Serbian RTS2 on January 6th (Interview with Bojana Žižić)
- Polish National Radio (PR2) has the Godowsky CD in rotation
- Polish RMF Classic in Krakow reviewed and broadcast the Godowsky CD in January

- Ukrainian UR3 Radio Kultura on February 12th (I know that music and Eternal Classics)
- Czech National Radio 3 - Vltava on May 17th (CD review on Rondo with Libor Dřevikovský)

American Public Radio

- WFMT Chicago on January 15th (New Releases with Lisa Flynn)
- Delmarva Public Radio on January 20th
(Interview on Just Opened with Kara Dahl Russell)
- Mississippi Public Broadcasting January 18th (Midday Classical with Karen Hearn)
- WSHU (Connecticut/Long Island) on January 18th by Kate Remington
- WMRA (Virginia) on February 6th (Bob's Record Shelf with Bob Satterwhite)
- Troy University Public Radio (Alabama/Georgia/Florida) on February 6th by Carolyn Hutcheson)
- WHQR (North Carolina) on January 31st by Pat Marriott
- Indiana Public Radio (Morning Musicale with Steven Turpin)
- Georgia Public Broadcasting on January 18th (Midday Music with Sarah Zaslaw)

Elsewhere:
- Peruvian Radio Filarmonia on December 20th (Pentagrama Britanico with Elke McDonald)
- Estonian Klassika Raadio on January 26th (Album with Kersti Inno)

###
The new CD, 22 Chopin Studies by Leopold Godowsky, is now available.
Click on the button below to order, using your credit card or Paypal account.
The CD will be mailed to you the next day for free, anywhere in the world.

How many CDs?
Signed or Unsigned
Purchase Ivan's CDs via Paypal

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###Ivan's Godowsky album is supported Bureau Export in the UK and Germany.
Bureau Export is a French non-profit organisation that promotes French music abroad.
It is funded in part by the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture.

###Ivan was recently interviewed by France 3 Television. Link here.

###Ivan played the reincarnation of Glenn Gould in Benoît Maire's latest film, The Shepherd.
The short film premiered at the Centre Georges Pompidou on 27 October 2011.

Watch the trailer here:

###Read a review of Ivan's acting debut here.

###Ivan's favorite music website, the International Music Score Library Project has asked to use his music on their website. Like Ivan, they believe that "music should be easily accessible for everyone."

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

###Listen to a recent hour-long interview on Hong Kong's Radio 4 here.

###Watch Ivan play the cadenza from Ravel's left hand concerto below:

Watch Ivan's latest Godowsky video, of Chopin's Opus 10 #1 Etude for the left hand:

###Fanfare Magazine in the USA named Ivan's Debussy CD a Top Five CD of the Year.

###Read a full-page interview with Ivan in Classic FM Magazine here.

###Listen to an interview and live performance on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' by clicking here.

###A radio show on Dutch Radio, 'Pianistenuur', recently did an hour long segment on Ivan's recordings. Listen here.

###A 2008 review of the Debussy CD by German website Klassik.com was recently discovered here.

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Beethoven Sonata Opus 109/III

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

Debussy La Cathédrale engloutie

Händel Suite in F major

Brahms Intermezzo in E Major

Godowsky Chopin Etude #2 for the left hand alone

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

Want more? Visit the audio archive.

*Ivan's music can be licensed for your film, commercial, website or video.


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"Ivan Ilić devotes himself to an incredibly painstaking task....he makes us forget the pianistic tricks, and the musical athletics: he gives us music. The warm tone, velvety touch and the intimate, deliberately dreamlike atmosphere he creates are admirable. The lyrical studies are the best - especially the Opus 25 no. 1 and the Nouvelles Etudes. And the Opus 25 no. 12 is absolutely epic!"
Diapason, Paris

"All these studies, conceived as they are for the configuration of the left hand, sound markedly different from their Chopin originals. They are of terrifying difficulty, and it is to the credit of the American pianist Ivan Ilić that he manages to bring expressive finesse to them as well as negotiating the technical hurdles. His is certainly a labour of love."
Classical CD of the Week
The Daily Telegraph, London [link]

"In addition to his expert technique, Ivan Ilić succeeds in transforming the necessary acrobatics to open jubilation and poetic tenderness, or as he says himself, 'aesthetic ecstasy'.The result is a tribute characterized not by paralysis but by boldness. As an interpreter, the American pianist knows how to convey the ebullient fantasy and limitless invention. He carries Godowsky's message forward to the present day."
Top 5 CD of the Month
Classique News, Paris [link]

"[In the Study no. 41] Ilić delivers the music's essential dramatic message with aplomb. Ilić pulls off [Study number 18a] superbly, threading through it a consistently clear melodic line while carefully subduing the inner parts... [No. 43 in C# minor] is brilliantly fulfilled; he stitches together all the sweeping shifts in register consummately. I can't help wanting to award Ivan Ilić a medal for his purposeful, intelligent grasp of this taxing music, not to mention his feat of endurance. The recording quality is excellent, too, allowing all the strands to ease forward with brilliance and warmth."
International Record Review, London [pdf]

"Ivan Ilić achieves a very musical performance, impressive technically and 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. One can only wish Ilić's inspirational recording the success it deserves."
Harmonie Magazine, Prague [pdf]

Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) was one of the greatest pianists of his time and wrote several transcriptions for his incredibly nimble hands. Among the studies on Chopin's Etudes, 22 of them are for the left hand alone, recorded breathtakingly by Ivan Ilić. These works exceed the limits of what is possible; yet they are recorded here in such an imaginative, sensitive and delicate manner, as if nothing was easier. Ilić stands out so much from the technical viewpoint, that he is able to devote himself intensely to the composition, so that these studies are not only virtuoso showpieces, but tasteful reflections on Chopin's work.
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, Austria [pdf]

"The hard work has paid dividends, especially in the more lyrical Studies where Ilić projects a nice sense of line and finely judged pedalling."
BBC Music Magazine, United Kingdom

"Ilić is not only a virtuoso capable of brilliantly interpreting Chopin's Etudes, known to all piano enthusiasts, with only one hand, but he is also capable of giving them a depth that is not always present when pianists play the originals with both hands...his playing is brilliant and luminous, and he conjures an almost gentle timbre, which is unusual in Chopin. A fine, impressive recording by an outstanding pianist."
Piano News
, Germany [link]

"Few pianists dare to perform Godowsky's Chopin Studies, let alone record them. Therefore it is all the more welcome that the contemporary young Serbian Ivan Ilić had the courage to do just that. What is truly remarkable is that Chopin's stylistic finesses do not disappear from these transcriptions for the left hand. Ivan Ilić [is] remarkably disposed for this recording. I had a strong emotional experience to Ilić's version of Study No. 41 B minor, with its freely flowing melodious middle section."
Hudebni Rozhledy, Czech Republic [link]

"Recording all 22 Chopin Studies for the left hand by Leopold Godowsky brings even super talented technicians to their limits...Ivan Ilić, a 33-year-old American in Paris, overcomes the trying tour-de-force most honorably. The legato and polish of his playing are exemplary."
Fono Forum, Germany [link]

"To tackle Godowsky's etudes for the left hand alone is a monumental task for any pianist. And to perform the entire oeuvre with interpretive awareness to color, clarity of texture, and musically expressive melodic lines sets Ivan Ilić apart from other pianists who could only hope to perform these works...Ilić focuses on and effectively manipulates the plethora of Godowsky's subtle variants, making the listening experience a truly rewarding one. Bravo!"
Clavier Companion, USA [link]

"The most challenging of Leopold Godowsky's Chopin Studies are for the left hand alone. American pianist Ivan Ilić does not only take up the challenge, he plays the transcriptions as if they give him no trouble at all."
Mania klassiek, The Netherlands [link]

"Ivan Ilić, despite an astonishing technique, does not forget the musical side. He even seems more interested in poetry than pure virtuosity, more interested in refined eloquence than by the brilliance inherent in the music. He proves that those who had declared war on Godowsky were wrong."
Pizzicato, Luxemburg [link]

"Ivan Ilić largely succeeds in making all that is tricky and sophisticated in Godowsky's Studies appear to be natural. Everything seems to be absolutely simple, and this is, of course, the most effective of tricks. Even more: Ilić is able to capture and give shape to the poetry of this music - composed by Chopin and preserved by Godowsky - over long periods (the effort required is very rarely felt). The virtuoso attitude, although it is present, remains always imperceptible, but at the same time it is brought to our ears to be relished as something romantically precious. "
9/10 stars
Klassik Heute, Germany [link]

"Looking at the score blackened with notes will make you dizzy. But Ilić's interpretation is pure poetry. He doesn't call attention to the score's difficulties, nor does he want to dazzle with virtuosity, rather he enjoys the sound, color and layered polyphony...a charismatic young interpreter."
Vltava maximum (5* rating)
Czech Radio 3 - Vltava, Czech Republic [link]

"Godowsky pieces for the left hand alone are a benchmark for any pianist. The 34-year-old Ivan Ilić, an American with Yugoslavian roots masters these touchstones seemingly effortlessly!"
Top 5 CD of the Week
MDR Figaro, Germany [link]

"These 22 Chopin Studies are a work written in Godowsky's youth; they are considered to be unplayable. Ivan Ilić offers us a superb interpretation of finesse and fluidity. His use of the pedal gives certain studies a mysterious charm, enshrouding them in a light mist. What could have become a purely mechanical exercise becomes music teeming with emotion and images in Ivan Ilić's expert and virtuosic hands. An essential disc."
L'Education Musicale, France [link]

"The care and intensity with which Ilić plays the studies surpasses mere technical mastery. Ilić's recording is permeated by Godowsky's soul in the same way that Godowsky's Studies are imbued by Chopin's soul. The bottom line is technical brilliance and expressiveness: Ivan Ilić embodies the virtues of a complete pianist in an impressive manner. Moreover, he does it with an extremely technically demanding program with almost incredible ease, and only with the left hand. However: What is spectacular about this CD, is not the fact that it was recorded with the left hand alone, but Ilić's intelligent and at the same time poetic playing."
5* review
Codaex Blog
, Germany [link]

"Ilić spent quite some time studying these pieces, replacing 'old solutions with new ones. He steadily strengthens the links between Godowsky's studies and Chopin's originals until they fit like a glove; all the while managing to keep routine - that pianist's pitfall - at bay. The many details in this highly accurate performance bear witness to this: minute shadings of color create a great impact, dynamic gradations underscore a certain passage in a masterful way. Phrases are stretched ever so slightly, subtly shifting the balance or highlighting a rhythmic pattern by means of which the missing right hand is evoked. Ilić shows himself to be an erudite 'champion' of these Chopin Studies...The recording is wonderfully transparent and sonorous."
Opus Klassiek, The Netherlands [link]

"Ilić has been a regular visitor to Ireland for a number of years now, but Friday was the first time I actually got to hear him perform. What was most striking about his playing was its sense of focus. He knows what he wants, and how to get it. He played both the Brahms arrangement of Bach and the Godowsky studies with an unusual rigour, as if keeping a tight rein on tempo was his number-one priority...The intelligent clarity of the musical thinking was impressive."
The Irish Times, Ireland.

"Debussy’s Préludes, Books 1 and 2, will provide you with the ultimate stocking-filler. Young pianist Ivan Ilić, an American pianist of Serbian descent based in Paris, laureate of the legendary Nadia Boulanger Foundation and the new toast of the town, will dazzle your senses with interpretations that are full of vigor while tenderly etching the most delicate contours of Debussy’s phrases."
Top Five Discs of the Year (Want List)
Fanfare Magazine, USA. [link]

"Feux d’artifice whirls and glistens in a flurry of controlled nervous effects, the keyboard sound brilliant yet pedaled to produce a thin caul over the mercurial visions.The Haydn sonata proves a model of galant clarity, delicate, pert, motorically riveting. The slight adjustments to dynamics and metric accent only add to the pungent and witty delights with which the opening Allegro moderato abounds. Rounded periods and suave filigree, especially in the trills and mordants, compel our admiration...a major studious talent with intelligent instincts at every turn."
Audiophile Audition, USA. [
link]

"This disc's principal interest lies in Ivan Ilić's highly assured touch and his accomplished technique. It is sufficient to listen to Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest to be convinced, a performance admirable in its velocity and richness of sonority. One clearly recognises that the pianist has a clear idea of the unity of the preludes, playing them in a single go, yet managing to highlight and contrast the serenity of Canope or La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune with the multiple transformations of Ondine, Brouillards, or Feux d'artifice. Already a success in the online music market, this lovely first recording leaves one wanting to hear more from its young interpreter, possessed of a virile touch and an excellently controlled ardour."
Concertonet.com, Paris.

"[T]his is a pianist whose musical intelligence naturally runs deep. There was an imaginative view of large-scale design too: the subtly coloured and long-phrased shaping of the major-mode section was beautifully judged. Ilić did not wow you with virtuosity that was either deceptively easy or physically demonstrative, for this was virtuosity of the mind as much as of digital dexterity. This recital’s 45 minutes of music flew by."
Irish Times, Dublin. [link]

"Highly considered performances that are rooted in Debussy's text but show individual intelligence and imagination, too." Four stars
Classic FM Magazine, London. [link]

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

"Ivan Ilić urns up the dynamic contrasts and sharpens the edges in a disc containing all 24 of Debussy's fearsome yet tonally enthralling Préludes from both books. Each spin...reveals fresh insight. Both efforts have a lot to recommend them, but after much listening...I couldn't help but gain respect for Ilić's strong will."
Toronto Star, Canada. [link]

"For those of an eclectic bent, pianist Ivan Ilić’s Friday recital at San Francisco’s Old First proved a delight. The program was an adventure in learning as well as a brilliant display of technical prowess, all free of clichés. Ilić was technically flawless, offering lots of color plus an uncommon sensitivity to Debussy’s expressive little tone paintings."
San Francisco Classical Voice, USA. [link]

"This high quality new disc on the French ‘Paraty’ label played on a magnificent Steinway by young American artist of Serbian origin, Ivan Ilić is now an outstanding recommendation. Ce qu’a vu le Vent d’Ouest is a very dynamic piece simulating the powerful, menacing wind, perhaps the loudest in the series, but even here the pianist never pounds the piano. It comes as a breathtaking climax."
The Wholenote
, Canada. [link]

"Ivan Ilić is one of America’s leading young pianists. In his new CD, he takes on Claude Debussy’s Préludes in an entirely original and fascinating way: rather than wading into oceans of misty-eyed tone colors, he approaches them simply and analytically. In this way, he arrives at a purified tableau: one that remains comprehensive and iridescent, but doesn’t distract from the masterly form of the miniatures."
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. The sound is rich and clear, with a broad range of dynamics but a solid rhythmic pulse."
Mail & Guardian, South Africa. [link]

"The highly gifted Ivan Ilić clearly adores these microcosmically compressed pieces, yet never loses sight of their multifaceted individuality. More than ever the préludes emerge not as studies in pianistic sonority but character pieces of enhanced sophistication...the rich humanity of these priceless miniatures [is] joyfully relished."
International Piano, London. [link]

"Ivan Ilić...is a consummate pianist and brings out all the nuances Debussy intended. He manages the subtlety of the habanera and flamenco rhythms in La Puerto del Vino, as well as the hint of the La Marseillaise in Feux d’artifice (Fireworks). His background as a mathematician means he also brings a measured analytical, interpretation so that each note, chord and phrase is understood and positioned so that they form an exquisite equation."
National Business Review, New Zealand. [link]

"His playing is characterised by clarity, vivacity and his intuitive feel for systems in the music...the pianist, who has real personality, listens attentively to the music he is making, and his name is one to remember."
Le Monde de la Musique, Paris.

"Ivan Ilić’s approach is intimate and poetic without being over-indulgent; clearly this is spirited and yet very carefully distilled playing, and I especially admire the pianist’s straightforward manner in La Cathédrale engloutie and Feux d’artifice, which brews up huge intensity while allowing in the finer needles of light."
International Record Review, London.

"A swirling west wind, spectral underwater cathedral or quirky military gent...Ilić, a 28 year old American based in Paris captures each of Debussy's mini-portraits vividly...fidelity to what the score says is impeccable." Four stars
Classical Music Magazine, London. [link]

"An ardent interpreter of Debussy, Ivan Ilić deploys crackling fire and a refined, chiselled, and hyper-reactive sensibility, which expresses all the facets of the Preludes' delicious seduction. His muscular playing brings out the richness of Debussy's writing. This album is a revelation."
Top 5 CDs of the month
Classique News, Paris. [link]

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

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

There are two recent interviews here and here.

Listen to radio interviews here and here.

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