“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 . 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.


Happy to announce our new partnership with RHAPSODY IN SCHOOL. Bringing local and visiting international soloists to schools to engage young people's interest in classical music, RHAPSODY IN SCHOOL is a successful model launched by the renowned German pianist, Lars...
Honored to serve as a member of the jury for the 2019 youth piano competition of The Piano School of NYC. Founded by pianist and Julliard – and Mannes School of Music graduate Vera Anselmo, the project developed from initial...

In February 2019 Ilona Oltuski will adjudicate the Boston University Tsai Piano Concerto Competition, as a member of the jury.


There is more to dashingly handsome violinist Filip Pogády than meets the eye. While he worked as a model for the world-famous Elite agency, becoming a poster child for big name brands like Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, Pogády’s heroes...
Amit Peled releases recording of Bach Suites (Volume I) on the Goffriller cello of Pablo Casals    (Illustration by Avi Katz)   We all love a good story told with the vivid imagination of an artist; it is even better...

What is GetClassical all about?


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

"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

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 brillance 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

Among the best writers and interviewers proudly stands Ilona Oltuski. She quickly gets to the point of an interview with her musical background and inquisituve 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
  • #DaniilTrifonov’s #CarnegieHall #Beethoven,#Schumann and #Prokofiev recital left audiences spellbound with his transforming interpretations, ranging from possessed to enraptured. Mesmerizing in a unique mastery of speed and color, Trifonov unambiguously ensues his pursuit in the footsteps of the portrayed composer-pianists!
  • Soaring Dvorak Piano Quintet with the #JuilliardStringQuartet in it’s recent new formation with the vivacious #AretaZhulla. #marcandrehamelin provided an array of startling  beautiful pianistic sonorities to the profound structure, in perhaps one of Dvorak’s most beloved chamber works. Am not entirely sure, weather the acoustics in the room suffered from not being filled to capacity - as usually is the case at the 92Y - or if indeed some balance issues during performance occurred....But by the final coda, the supreme dazzle of rhythmic perfection and Dvorak’s Slavic charm made nothing matter more than its joyous exaltation.
  • Salon de Virtuosi concert at a beautiful #hoteldesartists residence presented a piano extravaganza with the special pianist couple Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax and Young talent #YCA prizewinner Yi-Nuo Wang
  • Amidst hateful slurs, audiences of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra entered Carnegie Hall, to be met by only love and excellency. Love for the old garde of music making #ithakPerlman minus #ZubinMehta, superbly subbed by #YoelLevi. Chol ha kavoth!
  • Go see this marvelously made documentary about the courageous collaborative at the Warsaw Ghetto,  bearing witness in a very personal way - a meaningful way on Holocaust Rememberance!
  • Amazing masterclass today with Daniel Hope, who is engaging the performers and the audience with his critical but not too unkind comments ! Not shying away from vivid demonstrations at the instrument and this personal bit of British humor... it’s a almost like watching Dr. House on stage fixing some dying patients with an injection against boredom !
  • Pavel Nersessian is a Master of coloration at the piano! His choreography brings out inner voices you have never heard before - each finger seems to be independant of its hand, submissive  only  to the complete will of the master - bravo Pavel
  • The amazing powerful BethLevin at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts