Ilya Poletaev, a Yale School of Music graduate who now teaches in the Department of Music, has won first prize in the Grieg Festival Young Artists Competition at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. The competition, which is open to pianists, vocalists, and violinists, is part of a three-day Grieg Festival highlighting important but lesser-known works of Edvard Grieg. The grand prize-winner will undertake a concert tour in Norway, including concerts at Oystese Hardanger, Troldhaugen (Grieg's estate) in Bergen, and at the 2009 Grieg Festival in Oslo.
Poletaev leads a multi-faceted career as a classically-trained pianist as well as a performer on early keyboards. As a solo pianist, he has appeared with the Toronto and Hartford symphony orchestras; as a chamber musician, he has performed alongside distinguished artists such as Robert Mann, Donald Weilerstein, Gary Hoffmann, Boris Berman, Paul Hersh, and Susan Narucki. He has also appeared at such prestigious festivals as Moab, Caramoor, Sarasota, Norfolk, Yellow Barn, Banff, the Orford Arts Center, and Stratford Summer Music Festival. He is a recent Laureate of the 2008 National Stepping Stone Competition in Canada. As a harpsichordist, he has been heard in such venues as Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. As a continuo player, he has played under such conductors as Andrew Lawrence-King, Graham O’Reilly, and Helmuth Rilling.