“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 Waterman

Real Piano Music.com
“…music has long been trickling out of traditional concert halls and into cooler, more contemporary watering holes. Hosted by the music blog GetClassical, this concert series hits a sweet spot in the art-filled Rose Bar {and other newly initiated concert venues] with a feel that’s downtown Manhattan by way of 19th century Paris salon…its variety show atmosphere is known to draw audience members to the stage. And quite a variety show it can lead to, given that {some of} the last installment’s couches were filled with musicians ranging from arty Juilliard students to Carnegie darling Evgeny Kissin.”

Harper’s Bazaar

Hot List, June 2013


A personal message to friends, patrons and fans of GetClassical concerts and our initiative GetClassical In School:

The world has stopped in its tracks and it’s making us feel vulnerable, anxious and albeit by necessity, alone. People everywhere are braving battles big and small—their everyday personal battles, and those of greatest human anguish. The only thing that keeps us going is the understanding that we are truly all in this together.

To stay optimistic and connected, we feel it’s important to continue to share insights into our artists’ lives and music through our blog posts and artists’ videos, in the hope that their musical message will bring much needed joy and healing in this uncertain time – from a safe distance.

Please continue supporting our cause and artists while our fully planned concert series and school visits are on standby, so we can be ready for curtain call as soon as our community receives the green light to reengage in our planned activities.



Ilona Oltuski—GetClassical.org

With a surge in concert offerings in the city that never sleeps, convoyed by less media coverage, audiences’ informed choices of which artist to follow and what performance to attend, are limited. GetClassical Recommends on Facebook seeks to fill that gap and help to spread the word and access (with discounted tickets) in support of new talent and concert series’ programs that are geared to live up to high expectations.

Initative GetClassical In School


  He prefers to be simply called “Jackie,” and from the beginning of a Zoom interview with the Canadian pianist, one can sense that keeping things simple and informal is his usual preferred method; but these are not usual times. “The planned summer series with the Minnesota Orchestra, the first series of its kind in […]

While nothing matters during the current global pandemic crisis as much as staying safe, globetrotting musicians and their careers are highly impacted and subject to the unprecedented abyss of an unforeseeable future. If things had been going according to plan, Mark Prihodko, a gregarious young cellist hailing from Belarus, would have had his debut performance […]

An interactive musical show for kids, accompanied by their parents, B…

Get Classical in School

Many students are not exposed to the great classical music that is part of our heritage.

We believe passionately in this music and want to share our love of it with the next generation.

We bring charismatic, professional instrumentalists and singers, who are accomplished musicians and communicative educators to your school.

Through sharing our wonderful music, we teach collaboration, cultural history, and a taste of foreign languages, addressing the inherent elements of performing: mutual respect, self-confidence and emotional expressiveness.

We make classical music both educational and fun.

Ilona Oltuski/GetClassical and the initiative GetCassical In School is a sponsored artist with The Performance Zone Inc (dba The Field), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the performing arts community.

Contributions to The Field earmarked for Ilona Oltuski / Get Classical are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Field, or for our national charities registration, contact: The Field, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 906 New York, NY 10038, phone: 212-691-6969.


I salute Ilona’s initiative to introduce GetClassical In School, bringing classical music into the classroom. Sparking enthusiasm through personal encounters with charismatic performers will serve the next generation, bringing the joy of music into their lives.

Evgeny Kissin

As a composer and manager at Naxos of America, I applaud Ilona Oltuski and her efforts to bring classical music to the genre’s future audience. Music education is central to what we do each and every day, and many arts organizations pay only a glancing acknowledgement of its importance. New York may boast a lot of wonderful things, but age-appropriate learning modules for the enjoyment of classical music – how it works, who are its practitioners – are largely missing from all but the largest cultural institutions. And those who might benefit the most from it are those in the greatest need, especially as New York becomes less affordable for so many. To paraphrase Stravinsky, children shouldn’t be taught to respect music; they should be taught to love it.

Sean Hickey
Composer, Senior Vice-President, NAXOS OF AMERICA, INC.

“Music, more than any other art form, has the capacity to endow all of us, and especially young people, with the ability to transcend any challenges of present circumstance to conceive of – and ultimately attain – the brightest, happiest, most beautiful future of our dreams. I am honored to take part in GetClassical In School’s vital mission to foster inspiration that can broaden children’s horizons and propel them to achieve their full potential.”
Yours with excitement, Jonathan DePeri

Jonathan DePeri
Founder and Artistic Director of Gotham Arts, Leadership Committee Member GetClassical In School

It is my pleasure to endorse Ilona Oltuski ‘s important initiative GetClassical In School. During my many years as an educator of young talent, I have seen firsthand how terrific it is to inspire youth to build a lifetime with music. With best wishes for continued success for you and GetClassical In School.

Gary Graffman
Pianist, Pedagogue, Pedagogical Advisory Board for GetClassical In School

Dear Ilona, I wish you great success with your new project GetClassical In School and I am very happy to be included as an artistic advisor.

Gerard Schwarz
Conductor, Educator, Artistic Advisory Board GetClassical In School

“I wholeheartedly support GetClassical In School’s efforts as critical in our national drive to inspire the next generation of music lovers and enthusiasts. Childhood is an age of exploration and wonder, and I can’t think of a better way to develop a child’s curiosity than a hands-on approach such as this. Bravo, and I look forward to seeing this wonderful initiative develop!”

Pierre Van Der Westhuizen
Director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards, Artistic Advisory Board GetClassical In School

“We in the Emerson String Quartet applaud the mission of GetClassical In School to bring great music to both public and private schools throughout the New York metropolitan area. Classical music has a well-proven beneficial effect on young people’s intellectual, emotional and social development. In an era when arts education in public schools has undergone frequent budget cuts, and when the classical arts have a hard time competing with the massive commercial reach of popular culture, it’s more important than ever to reach the hearts and minds of children who might otherwise have little or no exposure to this invaluable legacy.”

Emerson String Quartet
String Quartet, Educators

“Never before has it been more important to our society to reinstate music and art back into our primary educational system. GetClassical In School fills the void that our government has failed to offer our next generation. Music is as essential as the air we breathe: It is what makes us human.”

Glenn Dicterow
Violinist, Educator, Former Concert Master New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Pedagogical Advisory Board GetClassical In School

GetClassical In School is a wonderful idea, I like the initiative very much. Its a special experience to bring live music and performers to the kids into the classroom. The energy can make for a powerful impact and inspire kids to love classical music and to find out more about it. Congratulations.

Martha Argerich

The life and engaging exposure to classical music inspires, enriches, increases focus and ultimately even increases learning ability , get us all classical , congrats and go for it Ilona!

Hanna Arie-Gaifman
Director, Tisch Center for the Arts at The 92nd Street Y
I am very happy to endorse Ilona Oltuski’s very important initiative GetClassical In School. It inspires the next generation with great performers, in the classroom. It is critical groundwork, much needed to implement the kind of continuing music education that we do at the Lang Lang International Music Foundation across the country.
I support this wonderful project with all my heart.
I wish Ilona and her team to grow and reach many kids in the country.
All the best,

Lukas Barwinski-Brown

Chief Executive Officer
Lukas Barwinski-Brown
Chief Executive Officer Lang Lang Foundation

“Bringing classical music into the class room is an incredibly important mission. Ilona’s initiative GetClassical In School is a great necessity. Introducing the young generation to music will undoubtably change future society for the better. It is proven that children will learn faster and are generally happier with music in their life. Bravo Ilona, bravo GetClassical In School!”

Aleksey Igudesman, Violinist, Conductor, Comedian, Entrepreneur

“What a pleasure to make the acquaintance of Ilona Oltuski, whose love of music and comprehensive knowledge informs everything that she writes. I especially admire the work she does in schools. Bravo Ilona!”

Jon Kimura Parker
Pianist, Artistic Director Honens International Piano Competition

What is GetClassical all about?


Ilona Oltuski has devoted herself tirelessly to broadening the audience for classical music by presenting exciting concerts in intimate, innovative New York venues. Her GetClassical series has featured established sought-after artists as well as emerging new talents. A prolific writer, she has spotlighted both prominent artists as well as anticipated stars of tomorrow in interesting interviews on her blog.
llona’s impeccable taste, comprehensive knowledge of music and strong contacts within the industry, has ensured success in her many endeavors. She has made an important contribution to the New York music scene and we all owe her a lot of gratitude.

-Edna Landau
Writer, Consulting Educator, Artist Management

Among the best writers and interviewers proudly stands Ilona Oltuski and her GetClassical blog. She quickly gets to the point of an interview with her musical background and inquisitive mind. At the same time she offers a special and unique angle to any article she writes. Being interviewed by her is always a comfortable and inspiring process.

-Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax

It has been a pleasure to be interviewed by Ilona Oltuski in New York. She is well-informed, curious and intelligent. She cares deeply about the state of music in our society and also about the fate of young musicians.

-Sir Andras Schiff
Concert pianist and educator

Ilona Oltuski, founder of the GetClassical blog and concert series, is one of the most passionate people I have the privilege of knowing. She is working tirelessly to bridge the gap between artists and audiences, by creating an engaging atmosphere in intimate, unexpected venues and bringing in talent worth recognizing. GetClassical hosts unique concerts that create a sense of community, where invigorated performers, be they world-renown musicians with colossal careers or a young musician still building his or her path, have an equal opportunity to share their art in a more relaxed setting with no divide and no barriers. The twenty-first century brings with it a lot of sensory experiences and social opportunities and we need pioneers, such as Ilona Oltuski and GetClassical to break the stigmas of the Classical Arts and create fresh and exciting events and content. These are concerts of today, but more importantly, the future.

-Natalia Lavrona
Pianist, Co-founder of LP-Classics Recording Lable, Founder and Director of Music School of New York City

Ilona Oltuski is a great interviewer, very friendly and knowledgable and a keen supporter of many artists, young and established alike. Easy to talk to, Ilona makes sure the artist’s point is not lost and that the essence of music always comes across.

-Matan Porat
Pianist, Composer

I SO much enjoyed performing in the amber glow of GetClassical, which keeps the tradition of intimate salon concerts alive. As a musician, it is inspiring to feel that a concert is a conversation rather than a speech, and the engaged and passionate audience made that possible!

At GetClassical, everyone becomes an artist: the audience and performers are equal collaborators in creating a special ambience; the music is enlivened by an amber glow of creativity and elegance. Thanks to the commitment and passion behind this wonderful platform, the tradition of the intimate salon concert is on very good hands. Everyone comes away with new friends, both human and musical.

-David Kaplan

My manager and I loved your article and thought it was one of the best we have ever read. It’s on my website now.

-Yuja Wang

“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.”

-Inon Barnatan

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

-Susan Wadsworth
Founder, Director Young Concert Artists

We were thrilled to see Orpheus so accurately represented by GetClassical.org in Ilona’s wonderfully thorough and sensitively written blogpost. It’s rare to be interviewed by someone like Ilona—someone who comes in already intimately acquainted with the culture of Orpheus, an interviewer who “gets” what we do and whose questions come from a place of genuine curiosity about what we do—past, present and future. GetClassical.org is the perfect vehicle for the 21st century music lover and musician.

-Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Dear Ilona, Thank you for making time for the interview. It was absolutely a joy to dive with you into my artistic journey and to feel so welcomed by your warmth, knowledge and personality. What I thought would be another ‘casual’ interview became a two hours fun and friendly discussion that magically – by you – brought out all I had to say and more, thank you, Amit

-Amit Peled, cellist

I had such a great time chatting with Ilona over dinner in Berlin. She is one of the warmest and funniest journalists I have ever had the pleasure of working with, without losing focus on the things that matter. Her articles are informative, entertaining and at the same time founded on a deep understanding of classical music and it’s business. I wish “GetClassical” all the very best!

-Filip Pogady, violinist

I had an engaging, wide-ranging conversation with Ilona that touched on many important and interesting topics, often overlooked in interview. Her perceptive questions are informed by her unique insight, knowledge and understanding. All of this came across beautifully written, in the wonderful, interesting profile she wrote. A big Thank You to GetClassical!

-Nicolas Namoradze
pianist, composer, transcriber

A big thanks to Ilona and Get Classical for the wonderful in-depth article about our work! This included our new work: Breath & Hammer II- The Ties that Bind Us for the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, as well as coverage of the From Shtetl to Stage concert at Carnegie Hall as part of the Migrations Series. It is rare today to see a writer who will delve so deeply into a story and look at multiple levels of connection- Thanks so much Ilona for your time and great passion!!

-David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg
Clarinetist and Piano Duo

“What a pleasure to make the acquaintance of Ilona Oltuski, whose love of music and comprehensive knowledge informs everything that she writes. I especially admire the work she does in schools. Bravo Ilona!”

-Jon Kimura Parker
Pianist, Artistic Director Honens International Piano Competition