Lev Ivanov serves as the music director of the Joliet Symphony Orchestra. Ivanov is a recipient of numerous recognitions and awards including The American Prize (in multiple categories), Jeunesses Musicales Bucharest International Conducting Competition, The George and Geraldine Swensen Watkins Endowment for Excellence in the Arts, Arizona State University and Brigham Young University Special Talent Awards, Vorzel and Guitaralia International Ensemble competitions in Ukraine and Poland, and others.
Most recently, from 2014 - 2020, Ivanov served as the music director of the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra at Illinois Wesleyan University. Notable performances included works by Joan Tower, Missy Mazzoli, Florence Price, Astor Piazzolla, Mason Bates, among others, and in the exploration of works by composers that are underrepresented or underperformed. Passionate about making music accessible to all, Ivanov enjoys programming repertoire that incorporates a variety of arts and crosses genre and geography.
Ivanov has achieved acclaim in the concert hall and in the pit. He led the productions of Hansel and Gretel, The Secret Garden, Le Nozze di Figaro, Pirates of Penzance, Trial by Jury, Carmen, La Boheme, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and others. Additionally, Ivanov received praise for his conducting in the production of Osvaldo Golijov's highly acclaimed contemporary opera Ainadamar. Ivanov is a recipient of both the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Grant and the Harmon Arts Grant to continue to bring orchestral music and opera to audiences in central Illinois.
As a sought-after clinician and a passionate music educator, Ivanov worked with student and youth ensembles across the United States. In efforts to bring music to underserved communities, Ivanov facilitated projects and partnerships with school districts, universities, and professional music organizations. Notable projects include the performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf in front of an audience of 400 elementary students and a collaboration (interrupted by Covid-19) with the Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, to bring interactive programs and music education to children.
Ivanov collaborated with soloists and composers including Eve Beglarian, Hilary Purrington, David Vayo, Benjamin Taylor, Myroslav Skoryk, Judith Shatin, Ilia Radoslavov, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Kyle Pfortmiller, Kent Cook, Vadim Mazo, and others. Ivanov participated in music festivals and masterclasses in Europe and the United States including the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney Conducting Course under the direction of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Park City Music and Orchestra Festival, Illinois Chamber Music Festival, masterclasses with Keith Lockhart, Thomas Cockrell, Carl St. Clair, and received instruction from Jörma Panula, Charles Peebles, and Martyn Brabbins.
Ivanov received degrees in music performance and conducting from Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music (Kyiv, Ukraine), Brigham Young University, and Arizona State University. He studied under Roman Kofman, Niku Mitzney, Martyn Brabbins, Kory Katseanes, William Reber, and Timothy Russell.
Raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ivanov began his musical studies playing piano and singing in the acclaimed Children’s Choir Shchedryk. He later studied flute and started his conducting studies at the age of sixteen. Before coming to the United States, Ivanov worked professionally as an orchestral musician in Kyiv, Ukraine, and toured internationally including performances in Berlin Konzerthaus and Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.