Arkady Shilkloper has electrified IHS symposiums with jazz and improvisation on horn, alphorn, and various other instruments since his first appearance at the 1992 symposium in Manchester, England. He had already impressed the jazz world at various venues, at the same time being a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to his contributions to numerous IHS symposiums, Arkady has served on the Advisory Council (2001-2003).
Arkady was born in Moscow in 1956 and now lives in Germany. He started on an alto horn at age six and switched to horn when entering the Moscow Military Music School at age 11. After two years of military service, he studied at the Moscow Gnessin Institute (1976-1981). He was a member of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra (1978-1985), formed a jazz duo with bassist Mikhail Karetnikow in 1984, and performed and toured with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (1985-1989).
Arkady has collaborated with pianist Mikhail Alperin since 1986; the duo then formed the Moscow Art Trio in 1990 with clarinetist and researcher Sergey Starostin to perform Russian ethno jazz. In 1990 Arkady visited the US for the first time, performing at the University of Idaho Jazz Festival. Pago Libre was formed in 1995 with Austrian violinist Tcho Theissing, Swiss pianist John Wolf Brennan, and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid; bassist Tom Götze from Dresden joined in 2012. Later Arkady formed the Mauve Trio with Brazilian guitarist Alegre Correa and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid (their debut album was awarded the Hans Koller Prize as CD of the Year).
Arkady started playing alphorn in 1998, an unusual instrument for improvisational music. He performed the Concerto for Alphorn and Orchestra by Daniel Schnyder, commissioned by the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, in 2004. He has recorded albums with alphorn as well on horn with various ensembles.
Arkady has changed the perception around the world of what is possible on the horn and on instruments related to the horn, especially in the realm of jazz.