The Violin Player who Does it All...
Whether onstage at Davies Hall or playing to sold-out arena crowds, Ilana Blumberg Thomas has been at home performing for diverse audiences since she was a child. Following her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony at age 16 for a celebration of renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin’s historic debut, she embarked on a career that has spanned the worlds of classical and popular music, taken her across several continents and, most importantly, allowed her to share her craft with hundreds of thousands of eager concert-goers along the way.
Appreciating the vibrant variety and forward-thinking energy of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ilana currently lives in the East Bay, balancing a schedule that incorporates symphonic and classical violin concerts, chamber music and recording projects, appearances as an acoustic and electric violinist at prestigious private events, a busy teaching studio, and regular appearances as a popular violinist with an exciting array of celebrated artists. Recent past years have found her onstage supporting major acts including Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Gregory Porter, Chuck Prophet, Il Divo, Warren Haynes and Josh Groban, to name a few. With electronic duo ODESZA, she was featured in performances on NYE in San Francisco, at their inaugural music festival in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and at their tour finale shows in Stanford and Los Angeles, all of which received rave reviews and helped her satisfy her passion for electric violin music.
On classical violin, Ilana regularly appears with area orchestras from San Jose to Sacramento, including the Oakland Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, and the Modesto Symphony, where she serves as Associate Concertmaster. Other regular collaborations include the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, West Edge Opera, Earplay, Opera Parallele and guest appearances with many other established groups. She also treasures her role as a wedding violinist, helping innumerable couples seal their vows and celebrate their happiest of days with everything from Ed Sheeran songs to R&B hits to traditional favorites like the Pachelbel Canon.
Before her return to her native Bay Area, Ilana lived in New York City, where she performed as a popular violinist, in renowned chamber orchestras such as Philharmonia Virtuosi, and in various Broadway productions, including Elton John’s Aida and the Tony Award-winning Producers. Her Broadway affiliations have continued on the West Coast with ‘The Unreachable Stars’, featuring Phantom of the Opera lead Jeremy Stolle, and supporting the recent SF production of Anastasia. She also has appeared at all the major American music festivals, including Aspen, Marlboro, Santa Fe Chamber Music, and Tanglewood, where she participated in recording a series of videos with Wynton Marsalis. Her other recordings can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon, Argo, and Albany labels.
When not performing, Ilana devotes herself to nurturing her varied group of students, ranging in age from 3 to ‘not willing to admit their age’, and her two sons. Never one to do anything halfway, she balances her love of distance running with a marginally unhealthy obsession with cookbooks.
11/2: Private Event, Oakland
11/2: Modesto Symphony Orchestra
11/4: Recording Session w/ Chuck Prophet
11/9-10: SSV Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince
11/20: Private Event, Napa
11/21: Private Event, Napa
11/24: Solo Performance with Merced Symphony
11/30: Pops Concert w/ Sacramento Philharmonic
12/4: Private Event, Sunnyvale
12/6-7: Symphony Silicon Valley
12/7: Private Event, Santa Clara
12/14-15: Holiday Performance w/ Blackhawk Choir
12/17: Modesto Symphony Orchestra Holiday Candlelight Concert
12/21-22: Nutcracker with Symphony Napa Valley
12/24: Private Event, Oakland