Born in 1954 in Riga, Latvia, Ilya Grubert began his studies at the E.Darzin School of Music in Riga. Considered a student of exceptional talent, at the age of fourteen, the late Yuri Yankelevich, a renowned violin pedagogue of world fame, recognised Ilya’s exceptional talent and invited him into his school in Moscow and later at the Moscow Conservatory. He continued his studies with the famous Russian teachers Yuri Yankelevich and Zinaida Gilels, and then under renowned violinist Leonid Kogan at the Moscow conservatory. Ilya Grubert graduated with a doctorate in 1980. He earned his first international success at the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 1975. Subsequently, he won first prize in two prestigious international competitions, the Paganini Competition in Genova and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1978.
He then embarked on a highly successful career and performed with distinguished orchestras such as the Moscow Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian State Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Leningrad Philharmonic, BBC Welsh Symphony, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the English String Orchestra, l’Orchestre d’Auvergne, etc. He has worked eminent conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Gennady Rozhdesvensky, Voldemar Nelson, Mark Wigglesworth and Maxim Shostakovich and many more. His concerts and recitals have included tours in the United States, Canada, Australia and throughout Europe. His New York recital debut was greeted with much acclaim by the New York Times, which called him “a musician of exceptional talent in the tradition of the great virtuoso’s, possessed of an unwavering tone and extraordinary technique”.
Ilya Grubert has a prolific discography which includes much of the main stream repertoire and also some lesser known works. In January 1996, he won the Golden Tuning Fork award for his performance of Sibelius and Bruch concertos. He has recorded for major recording companies with a repertoire that includes the Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Bruch concertos and all Prokofiev’s violin compositions. His most recent recording released in January 2007 by Naxos is that of violin music by Heinrich Willem Ernst, which includes the Concertino, the Rondo Papageno and the Othello Fantasy – played in its original version with orchestra, which had never been recorded before. His next recording project is the violin music of De Beriot.
Ilya Grubert now lives in Holland and is a professor at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He plays a 1740 violin by Pietro Guarneri of Venice, formerly the property of Wieniawski.