The violinist Ilya Gringolts wins over audiences with his highly virtuosic playing and sophisticated interpretations and is always seeking out new musical challenges. As a sought-after soloist, Ilya Gringolts devotes himself to the great orchestral repertoire as well as to contemporary and rare works; he is also interested in historical performance practices. His concert programmes include virtuosic early repertoire by Paganini, Leclair, and Locatelli. At the beginning of the year, he premiered his own arrangement of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. He also launched new works by Peter Maxwell Davies, Christophe Bertrand, Bernhard Lang, Beat Furrer, and Michael Jarrell. and premieres by Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Jarrell, Christophe Bertrand, and Albert Schnelzer. In the summer of 2020, Ilya Gringolts and Ilan Volkov founded the I&I Foundation for the promotion of contemporary music, which awards commissions to young composers. A first series of short solo works was created last season, including works by Yu Kuwabara and Sky Maclachlan, which debuted on BBC Radio Scottish and at the Accademia Chigiana.
Together with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the violinist started the current season at the Lucerne Festival and also appeared as soloist at the anniversary concert for the season opening of Ensemble Resonanz in the Elbphilharmonie. Further invitations have also taken him to the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the RSO Vienna, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra in his hometown of Zurich, among others.
Ilya Gringolts has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Sympho-ny Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orches-tra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Deutsches Sym-phonie-Orchester Berlin and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights have been joint projects with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire. From the instrument, he has recently conducted projects with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and in the 2021/22 season the Camerata Bern, the Orchestra della Svizzeria Italiana, and Ensemble Resonanz.
For his Diapason d'Or and Gramophone Editor's Choice Award-winning recording of Locatelli's Il labirinto armonico (2021), Ilya Gringolts also led the Finnish Baroque Orchestra from the podium. This was followed in the same year by the solo CD Ciaccona with works by Bach, Pauset, Gerhard, and Holliger, which also received the Gramophone Editor's Choice Award. His extensive discography of highly acclaimed CD productions for Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, and Hyperion, among others, also includes the critically acclaimed recording of Paganini's 24 Caprices for solo violin and the second part of his recording of the complete violin works of Stravinsky (2018), recorded with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia under Dima Sloboden-iouk and awarded the Diapason d'Or.
As first violinist of the Gringolts Quartet, he has enjoyed great success at the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Dortmund, and Teatro La Fenice in Venice. A highly esteemed chamber musician, Ilya Gringolts regularly collaborates with artists such as James Boyd, Itamar Golan, Peter Laul, Aleksandar Madzar, Nicolas Altstaedt, Christian Poltera, David Kadouch, Antoine Tamestit, and Jörg Widmann.
After studying violin and composition in St. Petersburg with Tatiana Liberova and Zhanneta Metallidi, he attended the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Itzhak Perlman. He won the International Violin Competition Premio Paganini (1998) and is still the youngest winner in the competition’s history; he was also named a BBC New Generation Artist at the outset of his career. In addition to his professor position at the Zurich University of the Arts, Ilya Gringolts was appointed to the renowned Accademia Chigiana in Siena in 2021. He plays a Stradivari (1718 "ex-Prové") violin.