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About us / News / 23. May 2022
Ilja Ruf ©Lukas Pries

Student of the Popakademie wins Jazz Award

23. May 2022

Popakademie student Ilja Ruf was awarded the "IB.SH-JazzAward" young talent prize at JazzBaltica 2022.

The JazzAward recognizes and promotes young talents. In the jury's statement on the award ceremony, it says: "Ilja Ruf, who is only 21 years old, lets us look through a kaleidoscope of his creative power; he knows no genre boundaries and moves confidently, with great ease and unrestrained, youthful creativity between classical, jazz and pop. He is a classical and jazz pianist, his playing transcends borders."
At the age of 21, Ilja Ruf can already look back on a successful career. He has been playing in various bands and ensembles since 2011 and has already won several awards. In addition to this year's IB.SH-JazzAward, he also received the Lübeck Jazz Prize 2021 and the Steinway Förderpreis Jazz Hamburg 2017, among others. In addition to the piano, he also plays the clarinet, works as a composer and performs as a singer. In 2021, after various other releases, his first solo album "Ilja_19" was released. Along with the jazz award "IB.SH-JazzAward", Ilja Ruf, who studies Pop Music Design B.A. in keyboard at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg, also opens the official part of JazzBaltica.
The jazz festival has been held annually in Schleswig-Holstein since 1991. A special feature is that JazzBaltica takes place under changing musical direction with changing musicians from the German, Scandinavian and Baltic regions. International stars as well as young talents perform. Since 2008, the festival, in cooperation with the Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein, has presented the IB.SH-JazzAward, which is endowed with 3,000 euros.

NDR article Ilja Ruf
Ilja Ruf