" Dragos is a narrator who uses the guitar to tell a story from his captivating, thoughtful perspective.”
“Beautiful tone, sensitivity and great musicianship. Dragos has a wonderful command of our instrument!
A bright present and even brighter future."
Romanian guitarist Dragos Ilie has delighted audiences across Europe, Asia and the United States with his charismatic and dynamic interpretations. At an early age, Dragos fell in love with the instrument after listening to his father play. Soon he enrolled at the Popular School of Arts and later the National College of Arts in his native city Iasi, with professor Marius Timpau. During that time, Dragos also studied with Dr. Daniel Dragomirescu at the National Music Conservatoire of Iasi.
His dedication for the art led him to receive numerous grants for competing, performing and studying in his home country and abroad. Some of these include the MOL Foundation Scholarship for Young Artists, the “Young Talents" Grant offered by the Margareta Principess Foundation, with support from the Royal House of Romania, and the Grant “Moștenitorii României Muzicale”, offered by Radio Romania and Rotary Club Pipera. After receiving the prestigious “Wooddruff Award”, Dragos went on to complete his Bachelor studies at “Schwob School of Music” - Columbus State University, at the class of composer and pedagogue Andrew Zohn.
Dragos has placed in over 40 international competitions, with more than 20 Grand Prizes. Some of these include the Koblenz International Festival, Changsha International Guitar Festival, the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, Culiacan International Competition, Indiana Guitar Festival, the Columbus Guitar Symposium, Texas A&M Guitar Competition, and Florida Guitar Festival. He has performed, taught masterclasses and workshops across the United States and Europe, and has been featured in Classical Guitar Magazine, Gendai Magazine, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, as well a series of lessons and workshops on Tonebase. Performances with orchestras include the “Transylvania” State Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Radio Orchestra of Romania.
Dragos is also active in the chamber music scene. As of 2021 he has joined the Austin Guitar Quartet, group that had their first recording “The Singing Guitar” nominated for Grammy’s, along the award winning “Los Angeles Guitar Quartet”, “Texas Guitar Quartet” and “Conspirare” choral ensemble. Recent performances of the quartet include Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, together with Austin Ballet. The summer of 2022 had Dragos embark on the “Stradivarius Tour - Paganini Magic” along with the celebrated Romanian violinist Alexandru Tomescu. The two performed the first notebook of sonatas for violin and guitar, Centone di Sonate in 17 concerts over 13 cities.
In 2020 Dragos joined Ex-Aequo, a nonprofit organization striving to make a statement in the guitar world. In the prospect of a pandemic affecting the musical lives of so many, Ex-Aequo launched a series of online workshops, masterclasses and concerts, as well a competition with a large number of attendants. 200 applicants. Latest project includes the commission of 9 new works for the guitar, written by eminent Black American Composers. An audio and visual CD along was published, and it is available on all platforms.
Passionate about integrating Romanian repertory within the global scene, Dragos recorded a project that blends both arrangements (works of Porumbescu, Bartók ) and works of living Romanian composers. The album, which also contains music from around the world was recorded together with the Romanian National Radio and is soon to be released.
Dragos is currently completing his Doctoral studies at the University of Austin Texas, with the renowned performer, recording artist, and teacher Adam Holzman. Concomitantly, he is serving as Teacher Assistant for the same institution. Aside the canonical guitar pedagogy, Dragos is also invested in the study of Body Mapping, technique focusing on body awareness and injury prevention for musicians.
Dragos is represented by Augustine Strings, the first classical string company in the world, and performs on the Classic Blue/Red Paragon sets. He plays a 2017 Gernot Wagner, kindly donated by Carson McKowen, a 2022 Steven Walter, and a 2023 Martin Blackwell.