Prof Ivari Ilja studied the piano at the Tallinn State Conservatoire with Professor Laine Mets and at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire with Professor Vera Gornostayeva and Professor Sergey Dorensky.
Ivari Ilja is an internationally recognized accompanist and ensemble musician. His collaboration with renowned singers Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Irina Arkhipova, Maria Guleghina and Elena Zaremba has been particularly successful and acclaimed. Together they have performed many of the great concert stages of the world, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall of New York, The Kennedy Center of Washington, Davies Symphony Hall San Francisco, La Scala in Milan, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, the great halls of St. Peterburg Philharmonic and Moscow Conservatory, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Suntory Hall of Tokyo, Musikverein of Vienna and Mozarteum of Salzburg.
Ivari Ilja has also held solo recitals in France, United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden, Finland and performed as a soloist with several symphony orchestras such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra etc.
His repertoire mostly consists of romantic music, primarily of the works by Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, but also Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Prokofiev, Benjamin Britten and others.
Since 2003, he has repeatedly toured with great Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in USA, Europe, Hong-Kong, Japan and elsewhere.
Professor Ivari Ilja has been a member of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre faculty since 1986 and held the position of Head of the Piano Department from 2000 to 2015.
He is currently member of the Board of the Estonian Association of Professional Musicians and President of the Estonian Music Council.