Ilan Volkov showed himself again to be a conductor of great sensitivity, intelligently and unfussily guiding the orchestra through the three strikingly different works.
Born in Israel in September 1976, Ilan Volkov began his conducting career at the age of nineteen. Following studies at London’s Royal College of Music, he secured positions 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 has held the post of Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Volkov’s arrival coincided with the opening of Harpa, Reykjavík’s visually striking new concert hall. In March 2012 he curated and directed a three-day festival of contemporary music, Tectonics, celebrating the centenary year of John Cage, exploring works by Icelandic composers and introducing the world premieres of music by, among others, Jesper Pedersen, Frank Denyer, Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson and Áki Ásgeirsson. “How can an orchestra, the nineteenth-century beast, be more radical and experimental? Is it possible? This is one of the questions that started me on a journey that led to the first Tectonics festival,” notes the conductor. Tectonics features programmes of classical modern music combined with other new music genres such as improvisation, electronics and rock. In 2013 Tectonics took place in two different cities, Reykjavik and Glasgow, with Iceland Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra respectively. Since 2014, Tectonics expanded even further with a residency at the Adelaide Festival with the Adelaide Symphony, as well as future Tectonics in Oslo, New York, Tel Aviv, London.
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