“True greatness is rare. Mr. Iliev possesses it abundantly.” - Jens Nygaard, Conductor, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players
"His musicianship and professionalism are among the highest I have encountered." - Аlan Gilbert, The New York Philharmonic
Ilian Iliev is hailed as one of the leading clarinetists of our generation, earning worldwide acclaim for his renowned
performances around the globe.
He was born to a musical family in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, playing the clarinet from a young age under the tutelage of his father, Nikola Iliev, one of the most acclaimed folk clarinetists in the country. Following his studies in the Music School of Plovdiv, he earned his Bachelor of Music from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. He continued his studies in the United States, attaining a Master of Music from the Mannes College of Music and the highly-coveted Professional Studies qualification from The Juilliard School in New York.
A clarinetist in high demand Ilian Iliev has worked with some of the most reputable musicians in the industry, and performed as a principal clarinetist in prestigious ensembles including the Florida Grand Opera, Symphony in C, Jupiter Symphony and The Lyric Orchestra of New York.
Ilian Iliev is often seen on many prestigious stages such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Centre, NY), Troy Music Hall (Albany, NY). He has also appeared as a soloist of The Jupiter Symphony of New York, The Lyric Orchestra (NYC), San Diego Symphony (CA), San Antonio Symphony (TX), Arkansas Symphony, and has worked with some of the most reputable musicians such as Frederica von Stade, Herbie Mann, Kurt Masur, Alan Gilbert, Ruth Laredo, Paul Haas and Rossen Milanov.
In addition to his classical repertoire, Ilian is also known for his performances of Eastern European music, combining modal improvisations with jazz swing, “crooked” rhythms, plummeting key changes and ecstatic speed.
Photo credit: Valentina Bilareva