"Master of improvisation"
Badische Zeitung, 2017
"Her concerts - more thrilling than a thriller!"
Born in 1988 in Sibiu (Hermannstadt), Romania, Ioana received her first piano lessons aged four and won her first piano competition four years later. By winning the Constantin Silvestri Scholarship Competition in 2005, Ioana got herself a ticket for one year in England at the Pocklington College in York.
Ioana gave her debut as a soloist with the performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 1st Piano Concerto, Fumio Akhizaky (Japan) conducting the Philarmonic Orchestra of Sibiu. Shortly after, a series of recitals and concerts with many conductors and orchestras in and outside the country followed: Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, Spain, England, Switzerland, the USA and Japan.
Besides her solo performances, the young Romanian is also a tireless composer as well as chamber music and Lied pianist. She particularly enjoys working and performing alongside the soprano Sarah Baxter since 2019. With their collective composition "The Foreigner" (a song cycle based on poems by Sarah set into music by Ioana), the musicians managed to bring their musical collaboration to an even higher extent when they premiered it in 2021. Another world premiere of her music took place in 2012 when Ioana's Legend for String Quintet was performed by the internationally renowned „Phoenix“ Ensemble and their conductor, Jürg Henneberger in Basel. Her work for piano solo Pisces has been published in 2017 by the CCC Music Company in Colorado Springs, United States of America. Her debut CD "On Cloud Ten" comprises works by L. van Beethoven, F. Chopin and her latest composition for piano solo, "The Clouds", a collection of 10 musical depictions, one for every cloud formation.
Ioana Ilie has completed her studies at the Music Academy Basel, having the opportunity to enrich her knowledge and skills with Adrian Oetiker (piano), Balz Trümpy (composition), Rudolf Lutz (improvisation) and Jan Schultsz (Lied and Song Accompaniment). Among other distinguished names that offered Ioana valuable guidance are Stephen Kovacevich (USA), Piotr Anderszewski (Poland) and Fabio Bidini (Italy). She taught improvisation at the Music Academy Trossingen, Germany from 2011 until 2015, when Ioana was appointed piano teacher at the Basel Music School. She is often invited to give courses on chamber music and improvisation.