Ylva-Li - profile

Ylva-Li Zilliacus

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO?

Everyone is listening. The mix of cultures and languages is hugely inspiring.

What do you need to feel at home whilst on tour?

My yoga mat.

What is the best thing about being a musician?

The creative and sharing experience of making music together with others. 

What would you do if you weren't a musician?

A yoga teacher. Music starts with listening. So does yoga.

What makes a “perfect” concert?

At the heart of performing is telling the story convincingly, no matter what the story is.


Ylva-Li Zilliacus is a founding member of the Lendvai String Trio. Since their London Wigmore Hall debut in 2006, they have made several critically acclaimed recordings and won a number of awards including the Dutch Kersjes Prize (2011). They perform regularly at international chamber music festivals and venues across Europe such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. 

Ylva-Li studied at the Royal College of Music as well as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She also studied at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and her main teachers were Simon Rowland-Jones, Tabea Zimmermann and David Takeno. 

She has been a member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra since 2017 and since 2020 she is also the principal viola of Uppsala Chamber Soloists and Uppsala Chamber Orchestra in Sweden. 

Previously she held the principal viola of Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra in Sweden and she has regularly been a guest principal at the Swedish Royal Opera House.

Ylva-Li plays an instrument built by Lorenzo Storioni in 1767, kindly lent to her by Järnåkerstiftelsen in Sweden.