“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.
In 2019, Ilona was 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 and the Philadelphia based Young Pianists’ Academy.
GetClassical also embarks on a new experience with GetClassical In School, bringing charismatic performing artists into the classroom and new audiences into the concert hall. 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.
Please scroll down to the GIS section to read more about GetClassical In School and our Artistic and Pedagogical Advisory that includes 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.
Get Classical in School
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.
SHOUT OUTS FOR 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.
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.
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.
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.
I welcome Ilona's initiative GetClassical In School and will be happy to partake when in New York. Everything for Kids!
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.
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...
I am happy to support Ilona’s initiative GetClassical In School and partake in a school encounter, bringing classical music to the next Generation and the next Generation into our concerts.
“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!”
“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
What is GetClassical all about?
ARTISTS’ SHOUT OUTS
Ilona Oltuski has devoted herself tirelessly to broadening the audience for classcal music by presenting exciting concerts in intimate, innovative New York venues. Her Get Classical 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. lona's impeccable taste, comprehensive knowledge of music and strong contacts within the industry, has ensured success in her many endeavors....
Among the best writers and interviewers proudly stands Ilona Oltuski. 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.
My manager and I loved your article and thought it was the best we have ever read. It's on my website now.
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.
Dear Ilona, This is a wonderful article. Thanks so much for putting so much thought and time into writing it. This is truly a historic collaboration and it's very nice to have someone recognize that and write about it so well. All the best, Phil
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
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!
"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."