"The Bach Overture was set forth with delightfully springy rhythms, a constantly stimulating interplay of contrapuntal lines, and tone that was clear and warm with no suspicion of harshness. Stylish as it was, with intricately detailed embellishments, this was also romantic playing – which, in my opinion, all good playing is."
"...a recital of not merely high promise but already high achievement".
— Bernard Jacobson,
Seen and Heard International
"Poletaev, now 36 and a Montreal resident, made good on the promise -- stunningly, many times over -- in a recital of Bach and Schumann..."
"...in making connections among voices, delineating distinct colors, not to mention the small matter of building expressive points of arrival and release, pianist and composer joined. They were as a single poet."
— Peter Dobrin,
The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Enescu couldn't have hoped for better advocates. Fang, 27, a Curtis Institute graduate now under the wing of Astral Artists, and Poletaev (an alum of the program) highlighted everything that makes Enescu's Violin Sonata in A Minor, "Torso," so aesthetically unusual and beguiling."
"... both players shifted easily from great delicacy to generous sweetness". Read More...
— Peter Dobrin,
"Bach May Be Familiar, but SPCO Makes It Memorable"
"But you can... marvel at how brilliantly guest harpsichordist Ilya Poletaev handles his notoriously difficult part."
— Ron Hubbard,
The Pioneer Press
"Ilya Poletaev . Keep that name in memory. He has all the prerequisites to become a world pianist. Not since I Gregori Sokolov's performances in Malmö several years ago , I heard a pianist with such brilliance and musicality"
— Skånska Dagbladet
"That the Russian-born Ilya Poletaev in America belongs among the most significant pianists of his generation was clearly heard in the farthest corners by the packed audience in the Seefelder Schloss"
"Poletaev created music which fully differentiated between the many styles." Read More...
— Reinhard Palmer,
"...a pianist with an extraordinary subtle understanding of sound..."
"This rare quality enabled him to reveal a variation in tone colors that was magical"."
"The pianist’s playing was dream-like in the Larghetto movement. It showed his feeling for the beauty and elegance of Mozart..." Read More...
— Hartmut Schütz,
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten
"An expert harpsichordist, he played Bach on the piano as well as any I have heard. The Allemande in the Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828, played with all the repeats, was an apotheosis of the spiritual dance. This pianist can play with a kind of lightness that makes the piano an old instrument. All that he played was deeply considered. There was nothing there to provide a cheap thrill. His intelligence was luminous” Read More...
— Keith Kibler,
Berkshire Review for the Arts