Ilia Laporev was born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1990. He comes from a very musical traditional family trained at the Moscow Conservatory. His father is principal cello at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, and his mother violinist at the Vlaamse Opera Gent. Ilia began playing the cello at the age of nine, studying with his father Ilia Laporev Sr., aswell with the Belgian cellist Hans Mannes and with Vladimir Perlin, in Minsk, Belarus. At the age of 16, Ilia was accepted as a promising student to study with Clemens Hagen, cellist of the famous Hagen Quartet, at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Later studies are with Justus Grimm at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and with Jerome Pernoo at the Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique in Paris. Ilia has participated in master classes with world class cellists such as Frans Helmerson, Heinrich Schiff, Janos Starker, Natalia Shakhovskaya and Maria Kliegel.
Ilia has received numerous awards at several Belgian national and international competitions for young musicians, such as “Jong Tenuto”, “Jonge Solisten Aan Zee” and others. In 2002 Ilia made radio and CD-recordings with other prizewinners of the “Jong-Tenuto” competition. In 2004 he was chosen by YoTaM, an Belgian foundation which supports young talented musicians both musically and with scholarships. In 2005 he won the first prize at the “Edmont Baert international cello competition” in Brussels. In March 2006 he was chosen as the only Belgian musical artist for the semi-finals at the International Eurovision Competition for young musicians, held in Vienna. After that competition Ilia worked together with the ‘Flemish Radio Television’ to make an mini documentary about his life, and in september that same year it was broadcasted over the whole country, on Canvas, an national Belgian channel. In 2009 he won the 2nd prize at the Julio Cardona International Cello Competition in Covilhã, Portugal. Further prizes are including Yamaha International String Competition in Ghent.
Ilia performed as an soloist with several Belgian, Dutch and Brazilian symphonic orchestras. Recent appearances have included various recitals, solo, chamber music and orchestra concerts in Brazil, Belgium, France, England and Luxembourg, also a CD-recording together with his father, cello duo by Robert Groslot, an famous Belgian composer and conductor, available on Spotify. In the near future, Ilia’s debut album with 20th century cello solo works will be available soon, with works by Kodaly, Henze, Lutoslawski and Sallinen.
As an orchestra member, Ilia started his first debut in 2010 with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra with Antonio Pappano. After that experience Ilia got invited as a guest principal and co-solo cello in several orchestras such as Vlaamse Opera in Gent, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National de la Belgique and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
From 2015 until 2018, Ilia was the Principal cello of the São Paulo State Symphony orchestra(OSESP), with Marin Alsop as musical director. During Ilia’s time in Brazil, he was invited to give masterclasses and concert’s at important international music festivals such as ‘Festival internacional de musica Campos de Jordão’ and ‘Festival internacional de musica SESC’ in Pelotas. From 2017 until 2018, Ilia was cello teacher of the ‘Instituto Baccarelli’ in São Paulo. Since his return to Europe he is playing frequently with leading orchestras such as the London Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg as invited cello (co)leader. Ilia is also very active in the chamber music world. He was member of the OSESP String quartet and the Sao Paulo trio. He performed together with great artists such as Osmo Vänskä, Caio Pagano, Antoine Tamestit, Christoph Hartmann, Polina Leschenko, Sergey Ostrovsky and others.
As an orchestra and chamber musician, Ilia played in famous concert halls such as Sala São Paulo, Musikverein Wien, Royal Albert Hall & Royal Festival Hall London, Salle Pleyel Paris, Bozar Brussels, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Teatro San Carlo Napoli, Tonhalle Zürich, Philharmonie du Luxembourg and others.
Ilia plays on a 7/8 cello build by J. B. Lefebvre, anno 1763 Amsterdam, whose sound in his hands colourful and deep.