" 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 established himself as one of the most creative and
expressive young guitarists of his generation. 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 winning the prestigious “Wooddruff Award”, Dragos went on to complete his Bachelor studies at “Schwob School of Music” - Columbus State University US, 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 Iasi Guitar Festival, Indiana Guitar Festival, the Columbus Guitar Symposium, ECU Guitar Festival, 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, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, as well a series of lessons 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. Dragos will perform this summer on the “Stradivarius Tour” together with the celebrated Romanian violinist Alexandru Tomescu.
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 that received more than 200 applicants. Latest project includes the commission of 9 new works for the guitar, written by eminent Black American Composers. The subsequent audio and visual CD along with a documentary are soon to be published.
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 deeply invested in the study of Body Mapping, technique focusing on body awareness and injury prevention for musicians. Currently, he is under training for becoming a licensed practitioner.
Dragos represented by Augustine Strings, the first company of classical guitar strings in the world, and performs on the Classic Blue/Red Paragon sets.