Ivan Ilić

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Ivan Ilić
Ivan Ilic - 56 by Michelle Blioux.jpg
American pianist Ivan Ilić
Background information
Born (1978-08-14) August 14, 1978 (age 36)
Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pianist
Website www.IvanCDG.com/

Ivan Ilić (Serbian Cyrillic: Иван Илић) (born August 14, 1978) is a Serbian-American pianist. He lives in Paris.

Early life[edit]

Ilić was born in Belgrade, in the Yugoslavian Socialist Republic of Serbia (now Serbia). He attended the University of California, Berkeley in the U.S. where he took degrees in mathematics and music.[1] Ilić also briefly studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before pursuing graduate studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, earning a Premier Prix, and finally at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. His teachers in France included François-René Duchâble, Christian Ivaldi, and Jacques Rouvier.[2]


Performing primarily as a soloist, Ilić is known for his interpretations of French music, in particular the works of Claude Debussy. His recording of Debussy's 24 Préludes was released in October 2008 on the French record label Paraty and won Mezzo TV's Critics' Choice Award in France.[3] The disc was also singled out as a Top Five CD of the year by a critic at Fanfare Magazine[4] and a Top Five CD of the Month by the French website Classique News.[5] Ilić rearranged the order of the Préludes on the album, a controversial choice which he defended in several interviews.[6]

Ilić's next album was dedicated to the left-hand Studies on Chopin's Études by Leopold Godowsky.[7] The disc was the Classical CD of the Week of The Daily Telegraph,[8] a Top 5 CD of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Figaro,[9] and a Top 5 CD of Classique News.[10] The CD was broadcast extensively in Europe and attracted widespread attention from the specialized press.[11] Videos of Ilić performing Godowsky's Chopin Studies on YouTube have attracted hundreds of thousands of views.[12]

Ilić has chosen to concentrate on solo repertoire. He has recorded works by JS Bach, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Godowsky, Debussy, Ravel, and Lucien Durosoir.[13] He frequently includes contemporary music in his recitals. John Metcalf,[14] Keeril Makan,[15] and Dmitri Tymoczko[16] are among a growing number of composers who have written him new works. His next recording will be of solo works by Morton Feldman.[17]

Ilić has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, and Ireland's National Concert Hall.[18]

Beginning in June 2011, many of Ilić's recordings have become available on the IMSLP website.[19]


  • Ivan Ilić, pianiste - oeuvres de Brahms, Beethoven et Chopin, Mairie de Paris
  • Elegance and Refinement - Baroque Suites, French Sweets, Magnatune[20]
  • Fugitive Visions - Piano Masterworks by Chopin and Liszt, Magnatune
  • Romantic - Powerful Miniatures by Schumann and Brahms, Magnatune[21]
  • Vitality and Virtuosity - Sonatas by Haydn and Beethoven, Magnatune
  • Transcendental - Transcriptions by Brahms and Godowsky, Magnatune
  • Claude Debussy - Préludes pour piano, Livres 1 et 2, Paraty[22]
  • Leopold Godowsky - 22 Chopin Studies, Paraty[23]
  • The Transcendentalist - Works by Scriabin, Feldman, Cage, and Wollschleger, Heresy Records[24]

Acting, writing[edit]

In 2010 Ilić made his acting debut in Luc Plissonneau's short film, Izak's Choice (Les Mains in French),[25] in the lead role of Izak.[26][27]

In 2011 he played the role of Glenn Gould in a short film by Benoît Maire, The Shepherd,[28] alongside renowned actor Lou Castel.

He has written about music for The Washington Times website.[29][30]


  1. ^ John Terauds: "For Ivan Ilić, piano is a way of life", The Toronto Star, February 12th 2009
  2. ^ In-depth interview (in French) on Pianobleu.com, October 2008
  3. ^ Biography on Ivan Ilić's website
  4. ^ Fanfare Magazine 'Want List', Fanfaremag.com, December 2009
  5. ^ Classique News review of Debussy CD, ClassiqueNews.com, September 15th 2008
  6. ^ In depth interview with Keir Smart, Glasgow, August 2008
  7. ^ Michael Johnson: "A left-handed complement to Chopin: An interview with Ivan Ilić", Clavier Companion, July–August issue 2011
  8. ^ Godowsky: 22 Chopin Studies The Daily Telegraph, February 29th 2012.
  9. ^ Take 5 vom 4. Juni 2012, MDR.de, June 4th 2012.
  10. ^ Classique News review of Godowsky CD, ClassiqueNews.com, March 7th 2012
  11. ^ Press summary for 22 Chopin Studies, Paraty 311.205, on the artist's website
  12. ^ Video of Chopin Study no. 13 which has attracted over 500,000 views.
  13. ^ Ivan Ilić's audio archive
  14. ^ Mike Smith: "Piano man's passion for work of Welsh composer", Western Mail, February 28th 2008
  15. ^ Note concerning 'Afterglow' on Keeril Makan's website
  16. ^ Preview article of Carnegie Hall debut, All About Jazz, June 2008
  17. ^ Feldman album announcement on the artist's Tumblr blog
  18. ^ Review of a recital at Ireland's National Concert Hall, The Irish Times, August 3rd 2009
  19. ^ Ivan Ilić's recordings on IMSLP
  20. ^ Ivan Ilić's albums on Magnatune.com
  21. ^ Ivan Ilić's albums listed on Amazon.com
  22. ^ The Debussy CD on Paraty's website
  23. ^ Geoffrey Norris: "Godowsky: 22 Chopin Studies", The Daily Telegraph, February 28th 2012
  24. ^ Announcement of The Transcendentalist on the Heresy Records website
  25. ^ Wikipedia page on French director Luc Plissonneau
  26. ^ Review of Izak's Choice on The Independent Critic
  27. ^ Trailer for the short film Les Mains YouTube.com
  28. ^ The Sheperd on the Centre Pompidou website
  29. ^ Ivan Ilić: Poise and perseverance: The story of Paul Wittgenstein, the one-armed pianist, The Washington Times, December 4, 2011.
  30. ^ Ivan Ilić: Leopold Godowsky, pianist and composer, reborn in the 21st century, The Washington Times, January 18, 2012.

External links[edit]