Professor Ivari Ilja elected to be the next rector of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

Professor Ilja received 30 votes in the 55-strong electoral council in the first round of elections for rector of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre on Wednesday May 3rd.

Candidates for the position were professor Ivari Ilja of the Piano Department, professor Kerri Kotta of the Musicology Department, professor Marje Lohuaru of Instrumental Chamber Music Centre and professor Toomas Vavilov of the Brass and Woodwind Department.

The rector is elected for a term of five years by the electoral council, which comprises the members of the EAMT council, the Board of Governors, professors and lead research fellows whose work load is at least 0.5 and student representatives named by the the student council.

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 Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Association of Professional Musicians and Member of the Board of the Estonian Music Council.

Professor Ilja’s term as rector will begin on 1th September 2017.


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 pianist, 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.