Russian National Orchestra

Ilia Melikhov


Ilya Melikhov is co-principal percussionist of the Russian National Orchestra, a position he has held since 2013, and is also an endorsed artist of “JGpercussion” company in Russia. He is an instructor at Moscow's Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and the Schnittke Institute of Music. As a member of the Gnessin Percussion Ensemble, he organizes and presents percussion performances for the annual International Brass Days Festival. 

Born in Moscow in 1984, Melikhov began playing drums at the age of seven. As a youth he performed with the Loktev Ensemble of Song and Dance and the Bauman University Neapolitan Ensemble. 

In 2008 Melikhov graduated from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music under the tutelage of professor D. Lukyanov. He continued advanced studies at the Gnessin Academy, receiving his Master's Degree in 2011. He has taught at the Gnessin Academy since 2010, and in 2017 he assumed the position of assistant professor in the percussion department. From 2013 to 2015 he taught at the Schnitke Moscow State Institute of Music.

His achievements as a teacher include training the winners of the Russian Open competition of percussion ensembles, the 2nd Open competition of brass and percussion, "Instrumental Range of Expression", Drum Fest Russia, and DRUMTIME.

In 2005, before completing his undergraduate education, Melikhov joined the Russian National Orchestra as a percussion soloist. As a student musician he also performed in concerts and radio broadcasts with the Master Brass Ensemble and Jazz Trio led by RNO principal trumpet Vladislav Lavrik.  

Melikhov's honors include first prize in the Second Russian Open Contest for Brass and Percussion Musicians (2007) and selection into the CIS Youth Symphony, which performed under Vladimir Spivakov at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the Congress Hall of UNESCO in Paris (2010). His achievements as a teacher include second prize in the Russian Open Competition of Percussion Ensembles (2014) and first prize in the same competition for the category "instrumental range of expression" (2015). 

Melikhov performs as a soloist and member of percussion ensembles in the annual RNO Grand Festival (Moscow), Festival Napa Valley (California), Moscow Green Week and the Second Festival of Contemporary Music "Open Space," and the annual International Brass Days Festival.

He has led master-classes in the US, at the San-Francisco Conservatory, LIED Center of Performing Arts (Nebraska University, Lincoln), Blackburn Academy (Napa Valley Festival, California). In addition he lectures in Hoseo University (Seoul, South Korea). And each year he participates in the EU “Erasmus+” educational program, giving master-classes in Parma Consevatory (Italy).

He has also published a bilingual book for percussionists, Orchestral Excerpts for Bells and Xylophone from the Works of Russian Composers, which includes works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich that he recommends as excerpts when preparing for auditions, master classes, and orchestral performances.