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Ilan Volkov

© James Mollison

Ilan Volkov showed himself again to be a conductor of great sensitivity, intelligently and unfussily guiding the orchestra through the three strikingly different works.

The Guardian

Since his prodigious breakthrough as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of 19, Ilan Volkov has matured into a versatile conductor whose interpretations of familiar repertoire are sought after internationally. He enjoys a long-standing relationship with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as Principal Conductor from 2003 and Principal Guest Conductor since 2009. Ilan is currently Principal Guest Conductor with the Brussels Philharmonic.

A musical omnivore, Volkov also serves as a dynamic figurehead of the international contemporary music scene. He launched the Tectonics Festival in 2012, which has since become one of the world’s most diverse and acclaimed celebrations of new music, with festivals in Adelaide, Oslo, New York, Tel Aviv, Krakow, Athens, Glasgow and Reykjavík. In 2020 he co-founded the I&I Foundation with Ilya Gringolts to support the development and performance of new music.

Volkov’s repertoire with a variety of ensembles spreads far and wide, and he often appears at the world’s foremost festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Unsound Krakow, Musikprotkoll and Berlin.

Equally at home in opera, his 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, Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Ernest at the Lincoln Center with New York Philharmonic, Bach’s Actus Tragicus at Stuttgart Opera, Olga Neuwirth’s The Outcast in Vienna and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and most recently George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence at Opernhaus Zürich. He also conducted the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s new work The Listeners with Norwegian National Opera, and Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s new creation L’Apocalyspe Arabe for the Aix Festival.


  • Principal Guest Conductor, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal Guest Conductor, Brussels Philharmonic
  • Creator and Artistic Director, Tectonics Festivals
  • Co-Artistic Director, I&I Foundation

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