The Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts wins over audiences with his extremely virtuosic playing and sensitive interpretations, and is always looking for new musical challenges. As a sought-after soloist, he devotes himself to the great orchestral repertoire but also to contemporary and seldom-played works. Last season he impressed critics with the rarely heard original version of Jean Sibelius’ violin concerto, which he performed with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra at the opening of the Lahti Sibelius Festival, as well as on tour in China. He has premiered compositions by Peter Maxwell Davies, Augusta Read Thomas, Christophe Bertrand and Michael Jarrell. In addition, he is interested in historical performance practice: he recently released a new recording of Joseph Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Ensemble Arcangelo. In the 2015/16 season, he will perform Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in its original key with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra.
Ilya Gringolts has performed with leading orchestras around the world, such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, NHK Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Sao Paulo State Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra and both orchestras of Southwest German Radio. Recent highlights included projects with the Bamberg Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Copenhagen Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony and Singapore Symphony. In the current season he has been invited to the Musikfest Berlin, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Helsinki Music Centre Musiikkitalo and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam to name but a few, where he will perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G major with the Bochum Symphony.
He is also the first violinist of the Gringolts Quartet, which he founded in 2008 and which enjoys great success with performances at the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Teatro La Fenice in Venice, among others. As a keen chamber musician, Ilya Gringolts collaborates with artists such as Yuri Bashmet, David Kadouch, Itamar Golan, Peter Laul, Aleksandar Madzar, Nicolas Altstaedt, Andreas Ottensamer, Antoine Tamestit and Jörg Widmann, and is a regular guest at the festivals in Lucerne, Kuhmo, Verbier, Colmar and Bucharest (Enescu Festival), as well as at Wigmore Hall, the Serate Musicali in Milan and St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Following numerous critically praised recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, BIS and Hyperion labels, Ilya Gringolts devoted himself to the chamber music of Robert Schumann from 2010 to 2011, releasing three CDs on Onyx. In 2013/14, his recording of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin on Orchid Classics received many outstanding reviews, and in the orchestral realm, he caught audiences’ and critics’ attention in spring 2015 with his recording of Mieczysław Weinberg’s Violin Concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
After studying violin and composition in St. Petersburg with Tatiana Liberova and Jeanna Metallidi, he attended the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Itzhak Perlman. In 1998 he won the International Violin Competition Premio Paganini, as the youngest first prize winner in the history of the competition.
In addition to his position as violin professor at the Zurich Academy of the Arts, he is also a Violin International Fellow at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
Ilya Gringolts plays a Giuseppe Guarneri "del Gesù" violin, Cremona 1742-43, on loan from a private collection first prize winner in the history of the competition.