Ivari Ilja was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He studied the piano at the Tallinn State
Conservatory with Laine Mets, and at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Vera
Gornostayeva and Sergey Dorensky.
Mr. Ilja is an internationally recognized accompanist and ensemble musician. His
collaborations with renowned singers Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Irina Arkhipova, Maria Guleghina,
and Elena Zaremba have been particularly successful. As pianist for these singers, he has
performed on many concert stages around the world, including Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher
Hall, Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, La Scala, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall,
Bolshoi Theatre, Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall, Suntory Hall, Hamburg State Opera,
Deutsche Oper Berlin, Musikverein, and Mozarteum. Since 2003, he has repeatedly toured with
Mr. Hvorostovsky in the US, Europe, Hong Kong, and Japan.
Mr. Ilja has also performed solo recitals in France, the UK, Germany, Estonia, Russia,
Sweden, and Finland. He has been a soloist with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra,
Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra under conductors Veronika
Dudarova, Stephen Gunzenhauser, Eri Klas, Leo Krämer, Theodore Kuchar, Peeter Lilje, Roman
Matsov, Andres Mustonen, Hannu Norjanen, Vello Pähn, Urs Schneider, and Arvo Volmer.
Specifically with the Estonian National Symphony, he has performed as a soloist on several
international tours to Germany, Sweden, Latvia, and Lithuania.