Ilan Volkov: In addition to conducting more than twenty-five concerts each season with the BBCSSO, and taking the orchestra to important UK festivals, Ilan Volkov makes frequent guest appearances with other orchestras throughout the world. Volkov is an especially sensitive concerto partner, and has worked with such distinguished soloists as Daniel Barenboim, Mstislav Rostropovich, Emmanuel Ax, Viktoria Mullova, Heinrich Schiff, Thomas Zehetmair, Christian Tetzlaff and Stephen Kovacevich, as well as the cream of the young generation of soloists, including Lawrence Power. In the opera house he has conducted Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for San Francisco Opera (2004) and in the summer of 2006 he conducted Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glyndebourne Festival Opera with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, having already appeared with Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
Born in Israel in 1976, Volkov was appointed Young Conductor in Association to the Newcastle-based Northern Sinfonia at the age of nineteen. In 1997 he became Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and two years later was invited by Seiji Ozawa to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. When appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra he became the youngest person to hold such a position with a BBC orchestra.
Ilan Volkov is also one of the guiding forces behind Levontin 7, a performance venue in Tel Aviv that brings together differing musical genres including classical, jazz, electronic and rock. Opened in July 2006, it is described by Volkov as ‘a way to influence cultural life in Israel in a way that is more subtly apparent than conducting, and more practical than merely giving a concert once every few years’.