Ilva was born in 2007 in Zurich. She is currently a second year student at the Kunst und Sport Gymnasium Rämibühl in Zurich. Ilva began playing the violin at the age of three and a half and since 2011 studies with Liana Tretiakova at the Zakhar Bron School of Music.
The 13-year-old daughter of a mathematician from Latvia and a Swiss jazz musician, Ilva is currently a second-year student at the Kunst und Sport Gymnasium Rämibühl in Zurich. She began playing the violin at the age of three and a half and since 2011 studies with Liana Tretiakova at the Zakhar Bron School of Music. She also plays the piano and studies piano at the Music School Conservatory Zurich (MKZ). She is also passionate about playing chamber music and is determined to become a professional musician one day.
At the age of six Ilva had her performance debut at the invitation of the Swiss Foundation for the Promotion of Musically Gifted Children. Her orchestral debut – a performance of the Kabalewski Violin Concerto with a symphony orchestra – followed at the age of eight. Since then she has played as a soloist with orchestras more than a dozen times and has acquired a considerable repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music.
The geography of her performances outside Switzerland extends to countries such as France, Italy, Russia, Austria, Poland, Latvia, Belarus, Monaco and Uzbekistan. Ilva has performed in various philharmonic halls and such prestigious venues as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the Kongresshaus Zurich, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Haus of Music in Moscow. In 2017 and 2018 Ilva performed in a concert series by young performers at the Jean Cocteau Museum – as the youngest participant in the 70-year history of the Festival de Musique of Menton. In 2018, Ilva performed at the Trans-Siberian Art Festival alongside Vadim Repin, Alexander Buzlov and Sophie Branson in a world premiere of the Concerto Grosso “iGeneration” by the Swiss composer Daniel Schnyder as well as Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Novosibirsk.
Ilva has won first prizes and special awards at national and international music competitions in Switzerland, Latvia, Italy and France, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. In December 2020, she became the first Swiss contestant to win 1st prize at the XXI International “Nutcracker” Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow, and shortly afterwards she became the winner of the popular Russian talent show “Blue Bird”.
She has participated in masterclasses of leading violin professors, such as Zakhar Bron, Viktor Tretiakov, Esther Hoppe and Latica Honda-Rosenberg, as well as of outstanding soloists of our time – Maxim Vengerov, Daniel Hope, Alexandra Soumm, Priya Mitchell and Sayaka Shoji. Ilva’s performances have been praised by the press in Switzerland, France, Latvia, Belarus, Italy and even in the distinguished violin magazine The Strad (“… fiendishly navigating complex polyrhythms … delivered with poise… “, “enjoyable splashes of Neoclassical grotesque”, “capricious music that demanded (and got) a chameleon-like variety of sound”, wrote The Strad).
Ilva is a recipient of scholarship from the Fritz-Gerber Foundation. She plays a 1755 Pierre Le Pilleur on loan from the Maggini Foundation.