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Ilya Ioff (Violin soloist)

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. Gutnikov. 

As a student of the St.Petersburg Conservatory (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 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 policy. 

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, Japan 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 Conservatory. In 2002, Ilya Ioff was awarded the title of Honored Artist of Russia.

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