Since his prodigious breakthrough as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of 19, Ilan Volkov has matured into a versatile conductor whose interpretations of familiar repertoire are sought after internationally. He enjoys a long- standing relationship with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as Principal Conductor from 2003 and Principal Guest Conductor since 2009. A musical omnivore, Volkov also serves as a dynamic figurehead of the international contemporary music scene.
He launched the Tectonics Festival in 2012, which has since become one of the world’s most diverse and acclaimed celebrations of new music, with festivals in Adelaide, Oslo, New York, Tel Aviv, Krakow, Athens, Glasgow and Reykjavík. In 2020 he co-founded the I&I Foundation with Ilya Gringolts to support the development and performance of new music.
Volkov’s repertoire with a variety of ensembles spreads far and wide, and he often appears at the world’s foremost festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Unsound Krakow, Musikprotkoll and Berlin. Between 2011 and 2014 he was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
Equally at home in opera, his extensive operatic ventures have included Eugene Oneguin by Tchaikovsky, for the San Francisco Opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream by Britten, at the Glyndebourne Festival, Peter Grimes for the Washington National Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival and The importance of being Ernest by Gerald Barry, at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, among others. He recently conducted the new creation of Samir Odeh-Tamimi, The Arab Apocalypse, for the Aix Festival 2021.
Volkov’s diverse discography includes Stravinsky’s ballet scores and a Gramophone Award- winning recording of Britten’s complete works for piano and orchestra, both for Hyperion, and a critically acclaimed survey of Liszt’s three Funeral Odes with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has a podcast for Radio Halas, in which he explores his extensive musical tastes and interviews colleagues.