Ilya Kazantsev began his music studies at the Central Music School at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory as a student of Valeriy Pyasetsky (prolonging traditions of G. Neuhaus). Since 2002, Mr. Kazantsev has lived in New York where he completed his studies at Mannes College of Music and Manhattan School of Music, getting Bachelor, Master Degrees and Professional Studies Diploma under the supervision of Dr. Arkady Aronov. Mr. Kazantsev made his sold out solo début at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in November 2007, as a winner of the Nadia Reisenberg Piano Award at Mannes College.
An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Kazantsev has presented numerous premieres of works by contemporary American, Russian and Eastern European composers, some of which have been dedicated to him. Mr. Kazantsev was First Prize winner at the Ridgewood Choral 2006 Composition Award in New Jersey, in collaboration with Romanian composer Andrei Foca-Rodi. In 2004, he became Vice Director of NIAA, a new organization dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art. Ilya’s advanced studies have included coachings by such prominent figures as pianists and contemporary music specialists Jay Gotlieb, Mark Ponthus and legendary composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who praised Mr. Kazantsev for his “thoughtful performance” of the composer’s Douze Notations.
Mr. Kazantsev dedicates a lot of his time to teaching, and at the age of 13 he started building up his private studio in Moscow. After moving to New York, he worked at the Piano School of New York, served as a substitute teacher at Mannes College of Music, Greenwich School and has been on the Faculty at Bergen Academy of Music in New Jersey since its opening in 2004. During these years, he also served as an assistant professor of Paris Conservatory Igor Lazko in his Master Class in Koper, Slovenia. Mr. Kazantsev’s students won International Competitions. In January 2013, Mr. Kazantsev was honored to judge the final round of Olympic Challenge Competition for young musicians at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie (New York).
Mr. Kazantsev has worked as an organist at The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Theologian (2004-2008, Tenafly, NJ), and worked as a substitute organist at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (Maywood, NJ) as well as many other churches in New Jersey and New York. For the last two seasons, Mr. Kazantsev has served as an organist, musical director and choir conductor at the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Long Island, New York.