Dr. Ilya Friedberg

Piano Faculty
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

D.M., Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

M.M., Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

B.Mus., Oberlin Conservatory

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Vladimir Ashkenazy

Menahem Pressler

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 


Pianist, Chamber Musician, Composer, Conductor and Pedagogue. Ilya been captivating the audience around the world and the United States. Among Dr.Friedberg's most prominent students is Lucas Jussen. Link to Lucas Jussen Performance 


In 2018 he gave masterclasses at Roosevelt University for the Class of Dr. Winston Choi and Edward Auer, At Tel-Aviv University Buchman Mehta School of Music for the class of Dr.Asaf Zohar and at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music for the class of Menahem Pressler. Dr. Friedberg is a faculty on the most prestigious chamber music festivals in United States and South Africa. He has performed with Pacifica Quartet, Atar Arad, Mark Kaplan,Joseph Swensen,William Harvey, Gil Apap and Verona Quartet. His Trio, Bloomington Trio, was founded and coached for 6 years under the guidance of the great Beaux Arts Trio pianist Menahem Pressler.


Ilya is a co-author of Children Methodical book completed together with his mother (his first music teacher) . An active teacher, Dr.Friedberg enjoys introducing first musical encounters to young students at Music Institute of Chicago as well as more advanced students. 


Link to Ilya Friedberg Performance with Atar Arad

Link to Ilya Friedberg Performance with Pacifica Quartet

Awards and achievements: 

Gold Medal Winner, International Pianist Competition in Kiev,Ukraine

Concerto Competition winner, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Faculty of Summer String Academy Directed by Mimi Zweig, Bloomington, Indiana

Faculty of Sonad Chamber Music Festival, New Hampshire

Guest Faculty at Adamant Piano Festival, Vermont

Interests outside of music: 

Ilya loves car racing, outdoor hiking, tennis, astronomy, making things work and taking things apart.

Favorite quote: 

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love,lovelove, that is the soul of genius. (Mozart)


To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop. (Mozart)


Stay with me to-night; you must see me die. (Mozart)

Favorite practice tip: 

Practice slowly and at PP

Favorite composer or piece to play: 



Favorite musical moment: 

When magic happens.

Research and presentations / publications: 



Nationality as Rhythmic/Melodic Line: A Study of First Language and Compositional Output


CD Release

Ilya Friedberg/Albums

Dreams: Sergei Rachmaninoff, Op. 2 - Carl Reinecke, Op. 167



The Variations Project

The concept for the Variations Project was to create 30 new variations for piano, based on the original canon used by Bach in his Goldberg Variations. To achieve this,18 composers were commissioned from around the world, both established and emerging, to write their own variation(s). No direction was given as to style or approach, only to use the canon and not to exceed six minutes. The final work consists of 60 variations, Bach’s 30 original, and 30 new. The form is flexible, in that the order can vary from performance to performance. Abridged versions can also be culled from the whole. The variation form has consistently fascinated composers and musicians. Everywhere in nature we can see some version. Simply consider DNA replication and fractal geometry; as well as the evolution of a species and the birth of galaxies. It is the process of beginning with the simplest elements, and evolving through variation to something much more complex, and quite often, unexpected. Bach used a simple canon, as did each new composer, so the variations all come from the same “seed”. The almost 300 year gap between Bach and today, gives us another dimension of the musical evolution from the 18th century to the 21st.