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Ilmari Hopkins
The Finnish cellist Ilmari Hopkins is since 2002 working as Co-Principal Cello of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Norway. Parallelly with his performing career he holds a post of cello lecturer at the University of Stavanger and has since 2008 acted as Cello Faculty of YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Ilmari has also coached several other youth orchestras, including the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra NUSO, the Norwegian progressive ensemble 1B1 and the NEOJIBÀ Youth Orchestra of Salvador, Brazil.

Ilmari was trained at the prestigious Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, with Prof. Anatoly Nikitin, long-time pupil and assistant of Mstislav Rostropovich, and obtained his Soloist Diploma in 2002 at the Royal Academy of Music of Stockholm, Sweden, with Prof. Torleif Thedéen. He has gained professional experience working extensively under the batons of conductors like Osmo Vänskä, Paavo Järvi, Paavo Berglund and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and has in the later years studied historic performance practice collaborating with musicians like Philippe Herreweghe and Fabio Biondi.

Ilmari has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, YOA Orchestra of the Americas and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. His recordings include broadcastings for the Swedish Radio, for the WFMT 98,7 classical radio of Chicago and a CD including string trios by Mozart and Beethoven with the SKASEI Trio for the Italian Azzurra Music.

First Prize recipient of the Lahti Chamber Music Competition in Finland, Ilmari is also an enthustiastic chamber musician and has been invited to teach and perform at international music festivals such as the ICMF in Stavanger, the Bergen Festspillene, Mlada Praha Festival of Prague, the Lukas David Festival of Lima and the Virtuoso&Belcanto Festival of Lucca, Italy. He has performed in most of Europe and in the USA, Japan, South-Africa and throughout Latin America. He plays on an Antonio Pedrinelli cello from aroung 1850.