Alexey graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory and is one of the last students of the outstanding professor cellist Anatoly Pavlovich Nikitin. He is a laureate of more than one and half a dozen different International competitions, including the 38th Dr. Luis Sigall competition (Chile), where he became the first Russian laureate of this competition in history; a laureate of the Second Prize at one of the most prestigious cello competitions in the world - the Isang Yun International Competition (South Korea), which was the highest achievement of Russian cellists in the entire history of this competition; and, finally, a laureate of the Brahms Competition (Austria) in 2018, where Aleksey Zhilin won two First Prizes at once.
Alexey remains almost a unique phenomenon: he got his education in Russia, in one city and with one teacher, and has won world recognition, which happens rarely. The Austrian press called him "a grandiose Russian", as well as "a passionate, virtuoso and deep musician representing the Russian cello school in its highest manifestation." The Belgian press also wrote about "the mesmerizing sound of his cello, similar to the voices of great opera singers" after Zhilin's victory at the first ever Queen Elizabeth Cello Competition in Brussels.
Today he performs in many countries of Europe and Asia, as well as in many Russian cities. As a member of the David Oistrakh Quartet, in which Zhilin has been playing since the day of its foundation, he traveled all over Russia from Kamchatka to Murmansk.
Since 2014 he has been teaching at the cello department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, continuing the work of his teacher. He gives master classes in Russia, Europe and Asia and collaborates with such masters as ElisoVirsaladze, Teodor Currentzis, Keng Nagano.
The extensive repertoire of the musician includes all the diversity of the cello heritage, including rarely performed classics and works by contemporary authors such as Philip Ersan, Isang Yun, Boris Tishchenko.
Inga Dzektser masterfully combines her work at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory as Professor of the Chamber Ensemble Department with giving concerts.
Her name can be seen on event posters of the Grand and Small Halls of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Rakhmaninov and Small Halls of the Moscow Conservatory, the Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Vredenbourg (Utrecht), Bozar and Flagey (Brussels) and many other halls in Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Holland, Finland, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, USA, Japan, Korea, China.
She has won the International Chamber Ensemble Competition in Trapani, Italy, and the International Piano Duet Competition in Tokyo, Japan.
Inga Dzektser also runs workshops in Japan, Korea and Portugal.
She worked as a concertmaster at master classes of the Berlin Philharmonic Quartet, at the summer music academy "The International Holland Music Sessions" in the Netherlands, at the “Venice Music Master" Summer Academy in Italy, as well as at the master classes “Gustav Mahler International Academy” (Italy) under the patronage of Claudio Abbado.
She participated in the jury of the International Chamber Ensemble Competition in Linz, Austria, and many Russian competitions.
She has performed at the following chamber music festivals:
The Yuri Bashmet festivals on the island of Elba and in the city of Camerino, Italy, in Germany (Kissinger Sommer festival), Finland, Portugal, France, the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi Classics), St. Petersburg (festivals "From the Avant-garde to the Present Day", "Petersburg Music Spring", in the "Music collection" international festival, the festival dedicated to the artwork of P. Hindemith).
She was an official concertmaster at the International Tchaikovsky competition (where she received a diploma of the best concertmaster), the Tibor Varga competition in Sion, Switzerland; the Lipitzer competition in Gorizia, Italy; the D. Oistrakh competition in Odessa, Ukraine and in China (China International Violin Competition).
CDs with her music were recorded with such companies as "Melodia" (Russia), La Salle de Musique de La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) and The Catgut Acoustic Society (USA), FugaLibera (Belgium).
Elizaveta studied at the St. Petersburg Children's Music School named after S.S. Lyakhovitskaya (class of V.A. Ovcharova) and at the Secondary Special Music School at the St. Petersburg Conservatory named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov (class of L.L. Rudova). She graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory under professor A.M. Sandler and entered his assistant-internship, which she is currently undergoing.
During her studies at music schools she also was a scholar of the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg.
Elizaveta is a laureate of international competitions, including the Piano Competition in Bremen (2016, first prize and three special prizes), the James Mottram Competition in Manchester (2018, first prize) and the All-Russian Competition "Delphic Games" in Rostov (2019, first prize).
In 2014 she was awarded the title of laureate of the International Fund for Cultural Initiatives named after Yuri Temirkanov.
She performed both solo and in ensembles in the cities of Russia, as well as in the cities of Austria, America, England, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Estonia and Japan.
The orchestra was established in 1990 thanks to the efforts of the professor of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory violinist Yelena Komarova and some of her students. The musical school's unity and loyalty to the truly Petersburg traditions of chamber performance allowed the orchestra to make itself known immediately, first in their hometown, and then abroad.
In 1998, the group was headed by the violinist Ilya Ioff. The quartet-like flexibility and ensemble-like mobility of the group provided the opportunity to significantly expand the repertoire, including the most complex music scores by masters who created their artwork from the Baroque era to the XXI century.
Divertissement successfully collaborates with contemporary Russian composers. Among the authors of works often performed by the orchestra in concert programmes are S. Slonimsky, L. Desyatnikov, G. Korchmar, N. Khrushcheva, P. Karmanov, V. Martynov and many others. The group is known in Russia not only as an active promoter of Russian music, but also as a performer of the most complex masterpieces of Western European music from various eras – from the Baroque compositions to modern experiments with electronics.
Divertissement has collaborated and continues to collaborate with such outstanding performers as Natalia Gutman, Grigory Sokolov, Alexey Lyubimov and others.
(Artistic Director and Soloist)
Ilya Ioff graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory (B. Gutnikov's class) and post-graduate school (V. Ovcharek's class). During his studies, he came across as a practised musician with his firmly established musical worldview and technical skills; in his postgraduate years, he also proved to be a talented teacher. Ilya Ioff is the winner of a special prize at the ARD competition in Munich, and the winner (the first prize) of the J.Viotticompetition in Vercelli.
As a soloist and ensemble player, he performed with such outstanding musicians as M. Argerikh, M. Jansons, and Y. Temirkanov, S. Stadler, and A. Rudin in many countries of Europe and America. His wide-ranging repertoire includes works by the most important authors who composed music for the violin - from J.-S. Bach to L. Bernstein.
Extraordinary human individuality and dynamic creativity of the artist attract not only listeners, but also contemporary St. Petersburg composers. Many of them, including B. Tishchenko, S. Slonimsky, G. Korchmar, L. Desyatnikov - trusted him with the first performance of their works.
The first season of working with "Divertissement" showed I. Ioff's undoubted talent for being the group's artistic director. Careful attitude to the traditions previously established by Y. Komarova did not prevent the creation of an absolutely individual criterion for the sound quality of the band and its own repertoire policy.
In 2002, Ilya Ioff was awarded the title of Honored Artist of Russia. In addition to performing, he teaches a violin class at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
Lydia Kovalenko graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where she studied in the classes of Y. Komarova, A. Yuryev and M. Gantvarg. She has won the IX All-Russian Violin Competition and the International Shostakovich competition in Hanover (where she got a special prize for the best performance of works by D. Shostakovich).
Teaching at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, she is also actively engaged in concert activities. Along with her permanent work in the chamber orchestra ‘Divertissement’ (Lydia Kovalenko is the concertmaster of the orchestra), she performs solo and chamber programmes on the best stages of St. Petersburg, tours as a soloist and as a member of the St. Petersburg Chamber Soloists ensemble across Europe, Japan, China and Brazil.
In the recent years, Lydia Kovalenko has given concerts not only as a violinist, but also as a violist in various chamber groups with such musicians as S. Stadler, I. Ioff, A. Massarsky, A. Bakhl, F. Fiore, and S. Chiesa.
She recorded several CDs performing works by Schubert, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Schnittke, B. Tishchenko and B. Tchaikovsky and other composers.
Yana Ivanilova graduated from the Theoretical and Vocal Departments of the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music (V. Levko's class) and received a postgraduate education at the Moscow Conservatory (N. Dorliak's class). She trained in Vienna with I. Wamser (Solo Singing) and P. Berne (Musical Stylistics), as well as in Montreal with M. Devalue.
She is the winner of the Schneider-Trnavsky international competition (Slovakia, 1999), and of a special prize for the role of Violetta in Verdi's ‘La Traviata’. Over the years, she has been a soloist at the Moscow Novaya Opera theater, and has collaborated with such ensembles of ancient music as Madrigal, Academy of Ancient Music, and Orfarion. In 2008, she was invited to join the Bolshoi theatre company, with which she successfully toured to London's Covent Garden theatre in 2010.
She has given concerts at the Great Hall of the Conservatory and the International Music House in Moscow, the UNESCO Hall in Paris, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, Westminster Abbey in London, the Millennium theatre in New York, and the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto. She has collaborated with such famous musicians as Y. Svetlanov, V. Fedoseyev, M. Pletnev, A. Boreyko, P. Kogan, V. Spivakov, V. Minin, S. Sondeckis, E. Kolobov, A. Rudin, A. Lyubimov, B. Berezovsky, T. Grindenko, S. Stadler. She took part in the premieres of works by L. Desyatnikov, and in the world premieres of restored operas by B. Galuppi "The Shepherd King", J. Sarti's "Aeneas and Lazio", Russian premiere of T. Traetta's opera "Antigone". The singer's repertoire in terms of leading opera and cantata-oratorio arias is quite impressive and covers almost the entire history of world music. Chamber music holds a special place in the singer's work, including monographic programmes from works by Russian and foreign composers.
Y. Ivanilova's discography includes recordings with pianists B. Berezovsky and A. Lyubimov, with Orfarion the ensemble conducted by O. Khudyakov, as well as with Y. Derzhavina and H. Milne.