Ilona Cechova, daughter of a Dutch
father and a Czech-Jewish mother, born
on the Veluwe, where she grew up in the woods.
The love for nature that she developed there, she still possesses.
From 1951 she attended the school of Kees Boeke
in Bilthoven, where she followed a broadly oriented
education with a lot of attention for music,
poetry, drama, recitation and art.
Nature was an important element and the red
thread throughout her education.
Ilona's father was a professional painter and
taught her the nuances of light and colour in
nature, to observe still-lifes and how they could end up on the canvas with paint
Her creativity was born.
It turned out to be necessary.
The difficult, lonely years immediately after the war
were followed by a sequence
of exciting events and life,
unfolded rapidly. The pitfalls presented themselves
and so she embraced everything that brought her comfort,
joy and wonder.
The need to express herself became ever greater.
An outlet was inevitable and she started drawing
. Mostly on draft. Faces. People.
Theatrical and with meaning. She wrote poems.
Very intense and from the heart. Pen and paper
were indispensable, as was singing.
Performances gave her a lot of energy. The first
years in Paris and then in the Netherlands. She sang in
different languages; conveying emotion
was her main motivation.
When she founded the Ilona Theatre, her
three children joined her, bringing with them a lot of experience and
inspiration. This resulted in a creative
and artistic family.
Daughter Rolinha left the
jazz conservatory in Hilversum with honours and is busy with
a successful singing career. Son Erik made it
to Music Director at TMF and MTV and youngest
son Frank became a professional photographer. He is now
a successful Sinatra interpreter.
Ilona's achievements have never gone unnoticed
. For example, she won the Conamus Prize at 'Nieuwe
Oogst' and she collaborated with Martin van Dijk
on her CD 'Vraag niet Waarom'.
With her daughter Rolinha she founded the singing duo Sense
and they released the successful CD 'Jiddische
Much of her music could regularly be heard
on Dutch radio. She also worked
as a radio presenter and lent her voice
to the voice-over of national television and
radio commercials.
A full and varied life in which it was often
survival. Ilona always drew strength and joy
from the love for and from her children, music,
art and nature.
Her poems describe that eventful
life with in it the clear cry for love
and recognition. Something that was missing, especially in her
youngest years...