Born in St. Petersburg, Ilona studied piano before being spotted by the legendary singing teacher Vera Rosza, who brought her to London on a vocal scholarship at the RCM.
Identified by Opera Now as one of the ‘new generation of sopranos destined to have impressive careers’, an Artist of the Month in Opera magazine, and on the Telegraph’s December 2016 list of ‘best British-based talent ‘, Ilona has taken leading roles with ENO (Rosina/Barber of Seville), Grange Park Opera (Tatyana/Onegin) and ETO (Mimi/Boheme, and three Heroines/Tales of Hoffmann). Festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Ryedale, Menton, Jersey, Buxton, Anghiari, Mallorca.
Concert highlights include recitals with pianist Angela Hewitt; Sheherazade with the St Petersburg Philharmonic; a Viennese gala with the CBSO; and a live Radio 3 broadcast for International Women’s Day with the BBC Concert Orchestra. She has developed close relationships with the Southbank Sinfonia (Brahms Requiem, Mendelssohn Lobgesang, Gilda/Rigoletto) and the Oxford Lieder Festival (recitals with Sholto Kynoch).