Born in Israel in 1976, Ilan Volkov was appointed Young Conductor in Association to the Northern Sinfonia at the age of nineteen. In 1997 he became Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and two years later was invited by Seiji Ozawa to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. He was Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2009, subsequently becoming Principal Guest Conductor. Ilan Volkov assumed his position as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Iceland Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.
Ilan Volkov is a frequent guest with orchestras throughout the world, including the Israel and Munich Philharmonic orchestras, Bamberg, City of Birmingham, Melbourne and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), Orchestre de Paris, SWR Freiburg, MDR Leipzig, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lyon and the Ensemble Modern. Debuts this season include performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and Gothenburg Symphony orchestras.
In the opera house he has conducted Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin for San Francisco Opera, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Glyndebourne Festival (having previously appeared with Glyndebourne Touring Opera) and Britten's Peter Grimes for Washington National Opera. This season he conducts Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Toulouse and makes his debut with Israel Opera.
Regularly recording for Hyperion, among his critically acclaimed recordings are two CDs of Stravinsky, a disc of Janáček's orchestral music and a Britten CD, which won a 2009 Gramophone Award. For NMC, his recordings include a disc of works by Jonathan Harvey (including Body Mandala and other works exploring the composer's fascination with Eastern philosophies), which was the winner of a Gramophone Award in 2008. Another Harvey CD on Aeon, Speakings, has won numerous awards including the Prix Caecilia de l'Union de la Presse Musicale Belge 2011 and the prestigious Monaco Prize.
Ilan Volkov is one of the guiding forces behind Levontin 7, a performance venue in Tel Aviv that brings together differing musical genres, including classical, jazz, electronic and rock.