CSO Music Director Candidate

The young German-based Israeli-American conductor Ilya Ram, praised for his charismatic and energetic performance (Crescendo-Magazine), his “expressive spontaneity” (Diaposon) as well as “[placing] great value on high-contrast, well-differentiated music making, and precision” (Kultur DNN), is on the look-out for creative new ways to approach classical music.​

Ilya currently serves as Music Director of the Leipziger Univesitätsorchester. Some of his 2022/23 season highlights include his return to the Semperoper Dresden and to the stage of the Gewandhaus Leipzig with the LUO, as well as being spotlighted by the IMPULS Festival for contemporary music, debuting with both the Magdeburg Philharmoniker and Tempus Konnex ensemble in Halle. He has also been invited to participate in The Mahler Competition in Bamberg, as well as making his Israeli subscription debut, jumping in last minute to conduct the Symphonette Raanana.

Recently, Ilya won the audience prize at the 5th Evgeny Svetlanov Competition and was admitted to the Akademie Musiktheater Heute supported by the Deutsche Bank Stiftung. He is also a recipient of several prestigious scholarships including the “Yotzrim” Scholarship for independent artists, AICF “Sharet” Scholarships and the DAAD Scholarship.

Always looking to deepen his understanding of the current trends in art and creative processes, Ilya is one of the few candidates to have successfully completed all stages of the Music.Multimedia.Managemt Project led by the Szczecin Philharmonic in collaboration with Fjord Cadenza Festival and TRAFO Center for Contemporary Art, where he was mentored and assisted artistic director Rune Bergmann on a number of projects.

Some of his more notable recent engagements included Guest Resident Conductor at the Theater Chemnitz, assisting the Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento at the Biennale di Venezia, assisting the HR-Frankfurt in the Music Discovery Project, and conducting a series of Christmas concerts with the Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen, to whom he will return in the 22/23 season. He also had the pleasure to work with soloists such as Pekka Kuusisto, Amandine Savary, Ilian Garnetz, Ildiko Szabo, and Charlotte Thiele, to name a few.

Ilya was amongst the four young conductors to be selected to participate in the first-ever Bayreuther Festspiele masterclass for conductors and has also participated in several other international masterclasses and festivals. He has studied amongst others with Christian Thielemann, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Neeme Järvi, Marek Janowski, Hartmut Hänchen, Robert Trevino, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Tim Redmond, Nicolas Pasquet, Johannes Schlaefli, and Jorma Panula.

In 2015 Ilya graduated Cum Laude from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel-Aviv with a B.A. in Orchestral Conducting and Musicology. He completed his Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” in Dresden, in the class of Prof. Ekkehard Klemm and has recently completed the Advanced Professional Training for Conductors Program at the UdK Berlin, studying with Maestros Steven Sloane and Harry Curtis.

A firm believer in the humanities, Ilya spent a year volunteering in underprivileged communities in Israel prior to beginning his formal studies, working with children both in and outside the education system. During his studies in Tel-Aviv, he continued volunteering at the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights.