Ilona Sie Dhian Ho

Hoofdvakdocent viool (afdeling Klassieke Muziek)

Ilona Sie Dhian Ho was appointed Professor of Violin at the Royal Conservatoire in 2000 and has established an acclaimed international class with young talents as well as Bachelor and Master students. An important element in her approach is making students independent, by teaching them how to practice. To enrich the education of her class she invites baroque specialists to work with her students.

Giving masterclasses in the USA, China and Europe, most recently at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin (2022) and the Euro Arts Academy in Poland (2023), Ilona Sie Dhian Ho is an active pedagogue, both in the Conservatoire as well as abroad. She is a frequent jury member in competitions and since 2018 a member of the Artistic Board of Dutch Violin Competitions.

Her first performance at age 13 was broadcasted live by Dutch National Radio. She was described as a “genuinely solistic personality” in the review of her performance of the Beethoven violin concerto in the Concertgebouw (De Volkskrant). As concertmaster of the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Orchestra she performed the Manhattan Concerto by Siegried Matthus in major concert halls like the Berlin Philharmonic.

She graduated in The Netherlands with Davina van Wely and continued her education in the USA, for which she was awarded a Fulbright Grant and scholarships by several funds like the Netherlands-America foundation and Fund for the Performing Arts. She studied in the US with Mauricio Fuks, a student of Ivan Galamian and Jascha Heifetz, and chamber music with Rostislav Dubinsky, the founder of the Borodin Quartet.

She discovered her passion for teaching when she worked as Fuks’assistant at masterclasses in Salzburg (Sommer Akademie Mozarteum) and Paris (Chateau de Champs). Subsequently she taught young talented violinists at the USA String Academy in Bloomington, Indiana. After a short career as performer, she was diagnosed with dystonia in her left hand and devoted herself to teaching entirely. She has given several workshops for violin pedagogues, organized by the European String Teachers Association.

Next to her teaching activities Ilona Sie Dhian Ho has started the Classic Expression Research Group in collaboration with Leiden University. In this group musicians, pedagogues and psychologists create innovative performance techniques for classical concerts for children. The group has developed a scale to measure the involvement of children in concerts. The aim is to indicate and understand which ways of performing are engaging for specific age groups, and share this knowledge with performing artists.

She plays a Lorenzo Ventapane violin (1802) and Charles Peccatte bow.