(July 5th 1972, Leiden, The Netherlands).
After his cum laude graduation at the Hilversum Conservatory in 1996, Ilja taught the trombone there. In 1997 he was the second Dutch student so far to receive the American Degree ‘Master of Music.’Ilja is permanent member of Nueva Manteca, The Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Gino Vannelli’s Dutch Beat Band, The Houdini’s, The Cubop City Big Band, The Jasper van ‘t Hof Quartet, Lucas van Merwijk Music Machine and many other well-known Dutch groups. He was featured soloist with the Metropole Orchestra for four times.
Ilja worked and recorded with Tom Harrell, Ivan Lins, James Morrison, Jim Beard, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Bill Dobbins, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner, Ed Neumeister, Jimmy Bosch, Vince Mendoza, Lester Bowie, Bill Holman, Dori Caymmi and many others.
In 1998 Ilja and his former teacher Bart van Lier founded an impressive trombone department at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts). With classical collegues Alexander Verbeek and Brandt Attema they form the trombone Academy of Codarts, Rotterdam. Besides teaching main subject trombone, Ilja is leader of the conservatory bigband for the last 15 years, ensemble coach and arranging teacher. From 2015 the team of trombone teachers at Corats is completed with the great Bert Boeren and Andy Hunter.
Besides being the principal teacher at Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts), ilja is guest teacher at the Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht Conservatories.