Ilze Lejiņa acquired master’s degree in saxophone performance from Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (2005) after studies with professor Artis Sīmanis and further improved her performance skills at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and the National Conservatory of Montreuil, France.
She has participated in numerous masterclasses of such prominent saxophone players as Claude Delange, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Jean Pierre Baraglioli, Fabrizio Mancuso and Jørgen Bove.
For many years Ilze was the principal saxophone player of the Professional Symphonic Band Rīga, as well as member of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Latvian National Opera Orchestra.
As a soloist she has appeared with the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, Professional Symphonic Band Rīga and Liepāja Naval Force Orchestra, achieving considerable successes: her solo performance with the Liepāja Naval Force Orchestra won the Grand Prix and the award for the best solo performance in the 6th International Brass Band Competition in Panevezys (Lithuania, 2006).
She won the award for the most artistic performance at the Best Chamber Ensemble Competition of JVLMA (2003), the 2nd prize at the saxophone competition “The Bright Note – 1999” in Staicele as well as the 2nd prize in the International Wind Instrument Competition in Jastržebije Zdroja (Poland, 1997).
From 1997 to 2001 Ilze was a member of the Riga Saxophone Quartet, winning the Latvian Great Music Award in 1999. In 2002 Ilze founded the first Baltic female saxophone quartet n[ex]t.
Since then the ensemble has toured Europe, made numerous recordings for the Latvian Radio and collaborated with Latvian composers – opuses have been dedicated to n[ex]t by L. Celma (Dance of the Light for saxophone quartet and harp), L. Amoliņš (Three Impressions for saxophone quartet), S. Renemanis (Sonata for saxophone quartet), I. Zemzaris (Paraphrase on a Chorale by Ā. Skulte for saxophone quartet and organ) and others.
Ilze has always been musically ambitious, breaking the established boundaries; hence she currently participates in numerous international projects. Amongst the most recognized are the regular performances of the French-Latvian musical show Elle et Lui (with Ilze’s husband Frédéric Hormain) in Latvia and France, as well as the classical music duet with french pianist Thomas Rigutto.