Faculty appointments for Bruce Neswick ’80MM, Ilya Poletaev ’10DMA

Ilya Poletaev

Ilya Poletaev

Pianist Ilya Poletaev ’10DMA has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Poletaev captured first prize at the prestigious XVII International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig and, as the winner, will appear in recital at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. As a solo pianist, he has appeared with the Toronto and Hartford symphony orchestras as well as with Romania’s Filarmonica Mihail Jora di Bacau and Italy’s Orchestra J-Futura. He was the first prize winner of the XX Concorso Sala Gallo Piano Competition in Monza, Italy, where he also received the Audience Prize, the Bach Prize, and the Orchestra Prize. Mr. Poletaev holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and earned his doctorate and master’s degree from Yale, where he also served on the faculty as a lecturer in early music. Mr. Poletaev’s recording of the complete works of George Enescu for violin and piano, with violinist Axel Strauss, will soon be released on the Naxos label.

The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University announced recently that organist Bruce Neswick ’80MM has been appointed to the faculty following a national search. Neswick will be an associate professor of music (organ), beginning this fall. MORE

Published May 10, 2011
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Piano alumni find success in summer competitions

Several students and alumni of the Yale School of Music’s piano department have enjoyed success in prestigious international competitions this summer.

Ilya Poletaev ’03MM, ’04MMA, ’10DMA (far left in photo) has just won the first prize for piano at the Seventeenth International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany.

Forty-seven pianists took part in the competition, which also offered categories for violin and cembalo. The event is open to musicians between the ages of 16 and 32.

Marianna Prjevalskaya

In June, Marianna Prjevalskaya ’10AD won the bronze medal in the Fourth Sendai International Music Competition, held in Sendai, Japan.

Listen to streaming audio of Prjevalskaya’s performances HERE.

Lindsay Garritson ’10MM and Esther Park ’12MM also participated in the competition; streaming audio of Garritson’s performance is available HERE, and Park’s is available HERE.

Yunjie Chen, an incoming student in the Artist Diploma program, earned fourth prize at the Gina Bachauer International Artists Competition, held June 16-July 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Published July 21, 2010
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Ilya Poletaev discusses George Enescu on WSHU


George Enescu

Pianist and Yale faculty member Ilya Poletaev (’09DMA) is bringing together his colleagues for a concert celebrating the music of George Enescu (1881-1955) on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. at Sprague Hall. The program will introduce audiences to the rarely-heard works of Enescu, who has been described by Pablo Casals as “the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart” and by Yehudi Menuhin as “one of the wonders of this world.”

Although today chiefly remembered mostly as an great violinist, Enescu was perhaps the most versatile musician of the twentieth century: in addition to playing the violin, he was a virtuoso pianist and conductor, an inspiring pedagogue, and – most importantly – a composer of some of the most extraordinary music of his time, unique for its refinement, complexity, and emotional depth. Although celebrated in his native Romania, his mature work (completely different from the Romanian Rhapsodies, composed when he was only 18) has  been heard infrequently, and is only now beginning to reach a wider audience. The concert on Feb. 6 seeks to introduce to the public some of the most important chamber works in Enescu’s oeuvre.

Kate Remington of WSHU talked with Poletaev about what is special about Enescu’s music.
Listen HERE.

Published February 3, 2010
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Ilya Poletaev and friends perform a tribute to George Enescu

Program includes a newly-discovered violin work by the Romanian composer



Canadian pianist and Yale faculty member Ilya Poletaev brings together his faculty colleague, tenor James Taylor, guest violinist Jennifer Curtis, and alumni cellist Mihai Marica for a tribute to the Romanian composer George Enescu on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Enescu (1881-1955), described by Pablo Casals as “the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart,” was a virtuoso violinist, pianist, and conductor as well as an educator and composer. His mature works are noteworthy for their refinement, complexity, and emotional depth, but have been celebrated little outside of Enescu’s native Romania.

This concert will introduce to the public some of the most important chamber works in Enescu’s oeuvre: Sept Chansons de Clement Marot, Op. 15; the newly-discovered Airs in Romanian Style for solo violin; the Cello Sonata, Op. 26, no. 2; the Piano Sonata, Op. 24, no. 1; and Impressions d’Enfance for violin and piano, Op. 28. This will be the first time the Airs in Romanian Style has been performed in New Haven; Curtis recently gave the work its New York premiere. Admission to the performance is free. For a live video stream of the concert, and for more information, visit the School of Music’s website.


Published January 12, 2010
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Yale ensembles win silver, bronze medals in Fischoff Competition

jasper_quartetTwo ensembles from the Yale School of Music won accolades in the 2009 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Ind. The Jasper String Quartet (J Freivogel, violin; Sae Niwa, violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson, cello) won the silver medal in the senior string division, and the Lorien Trio (Nicholas DiEugenio, violin; Ashley Bathgate, cello; and Ilya Poletaev, piano) won the bronze. The Grand Prize winner, the Linden String Quartet of the Cleveland Institute of Music, enjoys a Yale connection as well: the quartet will study at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival this summer.

The Jasper Quartet is the 2008-09 Fellowship Quartet in Residence at Yale, where they study with the Tokyo String Quartet. The Lorien Trio is a mix of alumni (Bathgate and Poletaev) and current students (DiEugenio). “We are all excited and proud to represent Yale on the national scene,” said DiEugenio.

The Fischoff Competition is the world’s largest chamber music competition. In 2009, ensembles representing 14 nationalities competed in five rounds of competition over three days.

Published May 11, 2009
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Yale in NY offers piano music for four and six hands


Featuring pianists Boris Berman, Claude Frank, Elizabeth Parisot, Wei-Yi Yang

The Yale School of Music presents “One and Two Pianos, Four and Six Hands,” a fascinating program of music by Mozart, Schnittke, and Stravinsky, on Wednesday, February 4 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. Eminent pianists from the School of Music include Boris Berman, Claude Frank, Elizabeth Parisot, Ilya Poletaev, Wei-Yi-Yang, and Dean Robert Blocker. Alumna Pei-Yao Wang and student Reinis Zarins will also perform. In reviews of recent Yale in New York performances, the New York Times praised Berman’s “fluency” and Yang’s “virtuosity.”

The first half of the program highlights works of Mozart, opening with the overture to The Marriage of Figaro arranged for piano six hands. This unusual transcription was created by the renowned piano pedagogue and composer Carl Czerny, who was born in 1791, the year of Mozart’s death. This is followed by Mozart’s Andante with Five Variations for Piano Duet in G major, K. 501, for piano four hands, and the Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448.

The evening’s second half opens with another novelty for six hands: the seldom-performed Homage to Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich by Alfred Schnittke. The evening ends with a masterpiece, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in the composer’s own transcription for piano four hands. Months before the groundbreaking Rite premiered in Paris in 1913, Stravinsky himself played this four-hand version with none other than Claude Debussy, who later remarked that the piece haunted him like “a beautiful nightmare.”

Published February 4, 2009
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Ilya Poletaev wins Grieg Competition in Florida

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.

Published January 20, 2009
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