The twelve-year-old daughter of a mathematician from Latvia and a Swiss jazz musician, Ilva is currently a first year student at the Kunst und Sport Gymnasium Rämibühl in Zurich. She began playing the violin at the age of four and since 2011 studies with Liana Tretiakova at the Zakhar Bron School of Music.
She also plays the piano and is a sixth grade piano student at the Zurich Conservatory (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 Haus of Music and the Bolshoi Theatre 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.
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 (“The second and third movements saw the girls navigate fiendishly complex polyrhythms on which the orchestra members were depending for their cues, and which were delivered with a poise that belied the scale of the challenge”, “Capricious music that demanded (and got) a chameleon-like variety of sound”, wrote The Strad).
Ilva is a recipient of scholarships from the Pierino Ambrosoli Foundation, the Fritz-Gerber Foundation and the C. und A. Kupper Foundation. She plays a 1755 Pierre Le Pilleur on loan from the Maggini Foundation.