“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


Born in Berlin and growing up in Frankfurt, Germany, Ilona was always interested in the creative fields of dance, music and the arts. Studying Art History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and piano at the Hoch’sche Conservatory, founded by Clara Schumann, culture and its historic and current correlation with society were at the core of her investigative efforts for the Historic Museum and the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt. Her dissertation on the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, was published as the first publication of its kind on Jewish Art, as part of the University’s press series. 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 . (Since 2008) Soon thereafter, Ilona started her English blog ‘GetClassical’ and her German blog, ‘Wohltemperiert aus New York,’ and began writing for Naxos Deutschland, and various online publications including Classical Post, as well as the contemporary outfit Sequenza21. 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. Her article on the Taubman Technique was featured as a special guest post on Jessica Duchen’s famed London based blog site and her many profiles of artists reside on their respective sites.

Since 2018, Ilona was also chosen as a member of the jury at different piano competitions, the Piano School of New York City, the Tsai Performance Center Concerto Competition at Boston University, the Philadelphia based Young Pianists’ Academy and the George Gershwin International Competition.

Building alliances with international performers and talent agencies alike, GetClassical has further become synonymous with artist collaborations in salon-style concerts, with the intent to create a new audience base and fans for the young performers. Recognizing early on the magnetism of varied spaces for the classical genre, GetClassical has produced concert events in NYC since May 2012, with programmed and some surprise guest artists. Varied locations included events at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, India House, Yamaha,  Louis Meisel Gallery, Le Poisson Rouge as well as a monthly classical music series at Zinc Bar. In 2019 events at Union Arts Center in Sparkill , St.John’s in the Village and its Revelation Gallery were added.


GetClassical is honored to have formed a partnership with the Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival.





Finding GetClassical among the venerable Artistic Partners of the Vendome Prize is an outstanding and humbling endorsement and we are delighted to seek out opportunities for the chosen artists of the Vendome Prize, who would like to come to New York City to start building an audience base. Beyond a concert opportunity, GetClassical will aim to connect international guest artists within a social framework of colleagues and peers, and welcome the artists to the city that never sleeps, but also is easy to get lost in.

...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








GetClassical  also embarks on a new passion project with GetClassical In School, bringing charismatic performing artists into the classroom and new audiences into the concert hall, through collaborations with concert series like Frank Salomon’s People’s Symphony Concerts, the Aspect Chamber Music Series and Eurasia Festival. These concert series will collaborate with GetClassical In School, to invite the classroom, visited beforehand by our artists, to their concert.

We have two school residencies, one at a private and one at a public school in NYC and we are coming to a school in your neighborhood soon.





Newsletter of our GetClassical In School performer, Irene Abrigo, announcing her school visit for GetClassical ahead of her Weill Recital Hall recital with the New York Chamber Orchestra.

(Photo: 16 Years old Ambassador for GIS, Adam Jackson and Concert Pianist Ching-Yun Hu ahead of her GetClassical Concert at the German Consulate General,  visit the Rabbi A.Schneier Park East Day School, Photo Credit: Overtone Productions)

GetClassical is a LLC in partnership with THE FIELD’s fiscal sponsorship for its related fund raising activities, offering Tax Deduction to interested sponsors.  All Activities for the new initiative GetClassical In School are non-for profit through this fiscal sponsorship. We count on your tax deductible support  –  please use the linked The Field button.

Please scroll down to the GIS section to read more about GetClassical In School and our Artistic and Pedagogical Advisory that includes NYC Performing Arts Education Advocate Rachel Shapiro, the Director of the Irving S.Gilmore International Keyboard and Awards, Pierre Van Der Westhuizen, and Conductor, Music Director and Distinguished Professor of Music, Gerard Schwarz, as well as the iconic pianist and pedagogue, mentor of superstar pianists and former Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, Gary Graffman.


Finding GetClassical among the venerable Artistic Partners of the Vendome Prize is an outstanding honor and we are delighted to seek out opportunities for the chosen artists of the Vendome Prize, who would like to come to New York City...
GetClassical In School is excited about the collaboration with Frank Salomon, Manager of Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, which will invite our school children, visited by extraordinary talent in the classroom, to their world class concerts. This is a unique opportunity to...

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.


Concert pianist Ching-Yun Hu performs at the German Consulate General November 19th.  GALA CONCERT for GetClassical In School, in participation with chorus master Frank Mathis's children choir November 19th., 2019, at 6 PM  PLEASE REGISTER WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HERE...
Cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach has been lauded by the press for the "gripping emotion" and "powerful artistry" of her interpretations, qualities which have led to a striking career including a wide range of artistic collaborations. She has appeared extensively in...

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 experienced 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 KissinPianist

It gives me a great pleasure to support GetClassical in School. More than ever the world needs programs dedicated to development of arts and music in schools. Arts education process is universally recognized as one of the most valuable to children of all ages. I wish Ilona and GetClassical much success in this new and important endeavor.

- Philippe QuintViolinist

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...

- Sean HickeyComposer, Senior Vice-President, NAXOS OF AMERICA, INC.

“For me, being an artist has always been, above all, about communication. Ilona’s initiative to introduce GetClassical In School is a fantastic way to bring artists exactly where they ought to be; directly in the classroom exchanging ideas with future generations. I look forward to participating in GetClassical In School whenever possible!”

- Alisa WeilersteinCellist

“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 DePeriFounder 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 GraffmanPianist, Pedagogue, Pedagogical Advisory Board for GetClassical In School

Aspect Chamber Music series is very excited about the ‘GetClassical In School’ initiative. The mission of GetClassical is important to us - bringing great performers to the classroom will help foster children’s interest in music; inviting students to the concerts of performers they have met personally may forge a special connection and inspire children’s love for classical music. We are enthusiastic to work on developing opportunities for collaboration with GetClassical in the fall.

- Irina KnasterFounder & Artistic Director ASPECT Chamber Music Series

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 SchwarzConductor, 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 WesthuizenDirector 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...

- Emerson String QuartetString Quartet, Educators

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...

- Edna LandauWriter, 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 BaxPianists

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 WangPianist

I have had the great pleasure to see first hand the remarkable work Ilona does; presenting concerts, interviewing artists and writing about music. Her musical knowledge is extensive and her charm and brilliance are always apparent in her writing on musical subjects and her interaction with artists. She is very special in so many ways, but it is especially gratifying to have a real music lover producing concerts and reporting on music.

- Gerard SchwarzConductor, Educator, Producer

"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 BarnatanPianist

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.

- Natasha ChernyNatasha Cherny Founder and Co-President, The Drozdoff Society Producer, Impromptu! Classical Music Recital Series

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

- Susan WadsworthFounder, 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
  • Honored beyond words ...
  • "Initiatives, like Ilona's GetClassical In School are essential today, more than ever, not only to ensure the future of classical music, but also to initiate and encourage an open dialogue through the only real universal language, the arts. Classical music in particular has the capability to inspire young people and serve as a role model for the ideal citizen: one with an independent voice but able and willing to work together with others for a greater goal. it is a logical and imperative step that a city as culturally vibrant and varied as New York, relies on classical music as part of a child's education and upbringing. “
Alessio Bax Pianist 
Photo: Marco Borggreve
  • “Congrats Ilona, this is a marvelous Initiative. Since I have joined the musical world, I have seen firsthand the joy in answering to the public’s need and to share this gift. GetClassical In School is an incredible opportunity to have kids inspired by truly passionate performers, who spread their love for the music and can fill kids’ hearts with that spirit in close encounters. I would love to partake whenever possible.” Rachid Bernal, Pianist
  • Very honored for all the endorsements by wonderful generous artists from around the world in support of #getclassicalinschool "Ilona’s  GetClassical in School is a fantastic project and I am happy to be part of it!
I have been supporting  a similar project Rhapsody in School all over Germany - it is an exiting experience to bring children and young people closer to classical music!
The young generation is extremely open-minded and appreciates the guidance with great enthusiasm and curiosity! This intense personal exchange between generations is of such a high value in our fast-moving digital world. With GetClassical in School the young generation has the unique chance to get closer to music in a direct and personal way, discovering new things for their soul and mind! Being an artist means sharing your emotions, feelings, life experience and knowledge with the people around you.
Get Classical in School is a great opportunity to put this mission into action!
Music was there for centuries, music will be there for centuries and music will always connect the world!“ Kirill Troussov, Violinist and Educator 
Photo: Marco Borggreve
  • Something different tonight ! Ian Bostrige is superb with Brad Mehldau in Songs by Mehldau and Schumann #bradmehldau #ianbostridge ##zankelhall #robertschumann
  • An amazing presentation as good will ambassadors for music education today by #JoshuaBell #AlessioBax at #KaufmanMusicCenter
  • "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
  • A superb 2017 Piano Award concert ! Albert Cano Smit, winner of the Naumburg Foundation Award, with a most thoughtfully selected program, including the world premiere and Naumburg Commission of Stephen Hough’s Partita for piano (2019)