Born in Israel in 1976, Ilan Volkov began his conducting career at the age of nineteen as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony. In 2003 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and subsequently became its Principal Guest Conductor in 2009. Between 2011 and 2014, he was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
A frequent guest with leading orchestras worldwide, Ilan works regularly with a wide range of repertoire and ensembles, and appears in many of the foremost Festivals of the world, including Salzburg, Edinburgh, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Unsound Krakow, Graz and Berlin. Highlights of the current season include work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, Berlin Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic.
Considered to be the electricity powering new music, Ilan launched Tectonics in Reykjavik, with Glasgow Tectonics following shortly afterwards. Tectonics’s vibrant and diverse programming, reflecting Ilan’s omnivorous interests in experimental, free improvisation, electronic, folk, world music and new hip-hop, has now been presented numerous times with regular festivals in Tel Aviv, Krakow, Athens, Glasgow and Reykjavik.
Equally interested in opera, Ilan’s extensive operatic ventures have included Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” for San Francisco Opera, Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Glyndebourne Festival, “Peter Grimes” for Washington National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival, Kurt Weill’s “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” for Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Bartók’s “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” with the Israeli Opera and Gerald Barry’s “Importance of being Ernest” at the Lincoln Centre with New York Philharmonic. Recent highlights include Bach’s “Actus Tragicus” in Stuttgart Opera and Neuwirth’s “The Outcast” in Vienna and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
His diverse discography includes projects with Hyperion including two albums of Stravinsky’s ballet scores, Britten’s complete works for piano and orchestra, a Gramophone Award-winning recording with Steven Osborne, and a critically acclaimed survey of Liszt’s three “Funeral Odes” with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra released in the composer’s anniversary year. Volkov’s NMC disc of works by Jonathan Harvey, “Body Mandala”, received a Gramophone Award in 2008, while his recording for the Aeon label of Harvey’s “Speakings” won the prestigious Monaco Prize and the Prix Caecilia de l’Union de la Presse Musicale Belge.
As of May 2020