(she/her) New York-based cellist, singer, and improviser Iva Casian-Lakoš is a first-generation American with Mexican-Croatian roots and performs across the US and Europe with interdisciplinary, genre-bending ensembles Synesthetic Project, hear|say, Ensemble Illyrica, and eco|tonal. Iva’s versatile repertoire ranges from classical cello to boundary-stretching new works, involving choreography, singing, acting, improvisation, and the occasional kick-drum.
Scena Amadeo (Zagreb, Croatia), 2021
Rites of Spring Festival, 2021
Bang on a Can, 2021
Hidalgo Festival (Munich), 2020
In 2017, Iva founded Ensemble Illyrica, a chamber ensemble which performs classical folk-based music and commissioned works. One of “Croatia’s most exciting experimental bands” (Timeout.com), Illyrica has performed in major venues and festivals across Europe, such as Wiener Musikverein, Scena Amadeo, Summer Magic in the Diocletian, Arsana, Brezice Festival, and Hvar Festival.
Iva also performs with Synesthetic Project as singer and cellist. Synesthetic released the art film “Jaga”, for which Iva improvised and danced. She toured with the ensemble in Vienna and Hidalgo Festival (Munich).
Winner of top prizes in national competitions, such as Hellam Young Artists Competition, Iva gave concerto performances with Columbus Symphony Orchestra, New Albany Symphony, and SEO Symphony Orchestra. She collaborated with members of JACK, Emerson, Calidore, and Ying quartets in chamber performances, and appeared in concert halls around the US, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (Bruno Walter), and Kennedy Center (Millennium).
Iva was also invited as soloist/chamber musician to IMS Prussia Cove, Barnes Ensemble, Vivo Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and Lake George Music Festival.