As early as
in his school days, Ilya Ioff attracted the audience of Leningrad. The warm and
rich sound, masterful handling of his instrument, and mature interpretations unusual
for a child were noticed even then by both the public and professors of the Leningrad
Conservatoire, and primarily by the outstanding Soviet violinist Professor B.
As a student of the St. Petersburg Conservatoire (1984-1990)
he emerged as a mature musician with a well-established set of techniques and
individual musician's outlook, while during his postgraduate studies with Professor
V. Ovcharek he earned the reputation of a talented teacher.
The uncommon personality and mobility in instrumental stylistics
make Ilya Ioff attractive not only for audiences but also for contemporary St.
Petersburg's composers. Some of them, as National Artists B. Tischenko, S. Slonimsky,
G. Korchmar, and L. Desyatnikov, entrust the premiere performance of their new
compositions to him.
As soloist and ensemble musician, he has performed with such remarkable
musicians as M. Argerich, M. Yansons, Y. Temirkanov, S. Stadler, A. Rudin, etc.
in many European countries and in the United States.
The repertoire of Ilya Ioff is enormous. He performs works by
all of the most prominent authors in the history of music who wrote for violin,
from I. S. Bach to Leonard Bernstein. Among his awards are the Special Prize at
the ARD Competition in Munich, Germany and the First Prize at the G. Viotti Competition
in Vercelli, Italy.
The very first season of his work with the DIVERTISSEMENT ensemble
as its Artistic Director proved the obvious gift of Ilya Ioff in this area, too.
The careful attitude towards the ensemble's traditions developed in previous years
by Professor E. Komarova (former Artistic Director) goes hand in hand with establishing
an absolutely individual criterion of the ensemble's sound and its own repertoire
The recent years' concerts featured compositions of the last three centuries,
from Vivaldi and Bach to Schnittke and Chaplin.
Such an ample repertoire and the sound 'all-absorbing' approach
of the ensemble have won well-deserved success with Russian, European, and American
audiences. Ilya Ioff has recorded several compact disks in different functions.
Among the recordings are Paganini's Concerto No. 1, sonatas of Mozart, Tartini
and Brahms, trios of Schubert and Tchaikovsky, chamber music of Dvorak, Brahms,
Arensky and Borodin, Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 1, etc.
Apart from his performing activities, he teaches violin at the
St. Petersburg Conservatoire.
In 2002, Ilya Ioff was awarded the high title of Honored Artist