“Ilona is a true music lover… a musical warrior working in the trenches to create new avenues for fan and artist to come together. Ilona has earned respect and admiration for her work in the New York music scene to create a new kind of intimate artist/fan concert experience. We share a common vision with Ilona in her desire to bring artists and fans closer. We salute Ilona Oltuski… a true piano lover dedicated to making a difference Bravo!”
Richard WatermanReal Piano Music.com
After moving to New York with her husband, Ilona continued to pursue the piano, her favorite instrument, and in doing so met and befriended many pianists ranging from various levels of amateur to professional players. Through conversations with these musicians, Ilona – a passionate amateur herself – made her reentry into the writing world by sharing her experiences, quest, and lust for piano playing with the public, and composed her first articles on blogcritics.org . Soon thereafter, Ilona started her German blog, ‘Wohltemperiert aus New York,’ and began writing for Naxos Deutschland , which she still continues to do. In print, Ilona has also written for Listen Magazine, Jűdische Allgemeine Zeitung and for the German PianoNews Magazine; her article on pianist Inon Barnatan was published in a collection of articles in Staccato Verlag’s “Gespräche mit Pianisten” in 2017. Her blog was selected “as blog of the month” by Gramophone.
Since May 2012, Ilona has been producing salon-style concerts with the intention of creating a space for classical music in New York City’s nightlife. GetClassical has produced salon events at Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar and India House, Yamaha and Louis Meisel Gallery, LPR and since October 2014, a classical music series at Zinc Bar, with programmed artists and some surprise guest artists. This year brings new collaborations with the Union Arts Center to Sparkill, New York.
For 2019, Ilona was chosen as a member of the jury at two different piano competitions.
2019 GetClassical will also embark on a new experience, partnering with the European initiative Rhapsody in School, bringing artists into the classroom and new audiences into the concert hall.
What is GetClassical all about?
ARTISTS’ SHOUT OUTS
Ilona's wholehearted dedication to the arts makes a profound impact on our performing community. through thoughtful articles, interviews, and by fostering innovative performance atmospheres, she provides artists additional platforms to communicate meaningfully with their audiences. In doing so, she facilitates a broadening of the audience for classical music, while nurturing a side of our industry that is consistently in need of further nourishment.
Ilona, I was so happy with your exceptional article about Young Concert Artists.. You captured every iota of the spirit of the organization in an articulate and warm way. It is fun to come to your events too -\ off the beaten track and yet fully connected to the spirit of great music. All best Susan
Ilona Oltuski’s professionalism and insight in her recent column, Pegasus: The Orchestra – Cultural Incubator of Community became the lift beneath our mythical horse’s wings as the orchestra gave its New York and New Jersey premieres. We thank her for the depth and breadth of the article, in particular; for her longtime and passionate support of musical endeavor and musicians everywhere; and especially for her dedication to rising artists.
Ilona’s warmth and kindness toward me were so inviting when I came to the United States last year! I am so honored and grateful that she chose to attend my recent performance in New York, and that she devoted her time and energy to an interview with me. Her questions let me know that her interest was genuine, and her journalism reflected an understanding and love both of music and of we artists who work to bring it to life.
When I first became aware of Ilona Oltuski’s GetClassical series, I wondered if perhaps here was a kindred spirit. Now, as a frequent reader of her discerning journalism and a follower of her concerts, I am truly impressed with her devotion to musicians, her intelligent and informed writing, and her infectious enthusiasm. She is not only an ally in the arts, but also a role model.
"It was such a pleasure talking to Ilona and having an interview that was as exhaustive and intelligent as it was readable and entertainingly written. Music journalism is becoming a rare art and it's nice to know it is in good hands."