Xenia Pestova is a pianist with a special interest in presenting contemporary works alongside traditional repertoire. Following childhood music education in piano and composition in Russia, Xenia moved to New Zealand with her family. She continued her studies in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Canada. Among her teachers are Håkon Austbø, Louise Bessette, Judith Clark, Philip Mead and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in piano, and Ross Harris and John Young in instrumental and electroacoustic composition. Xenia's awards include an unanimous First Prize at the 2004 Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona, Spain, a Special Mention at the 2003 Messiaen International Piano Competition in Paris, and Second Prize at the 2000 KeriKeri National Piano Competition, New Zealand's oldest and most prestigious piano competition. In addition to solo recitals, Xenia enjoys collaboration with other musicians and has performed as ensemble pianist and soloist with the United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg), the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble (Montreal), Stroma (New Zealand), and Luxembourg Sinfonietta. She has a piano duo with Luxembourg pianist Pascal Meyer, which focuses on exciting and dynamic repertoire of the present day, and is a founding member and artistic director of the Montreal-based new music collective, The Contemporary Keyboard Society. She has commissioned, premiered and broadcast many new pieces and worked with composers including Cornelis de Bondt, Denys Bouliane, Chris Paul Harman, Toshio Hosokawa, Tristan Murail, Ichiro Nodaira and Hans Tutschku. Xenia is a Doctoral Candidate in piano performance at the McGill University Schulich School of Music in Montreal. She is also a Performance Research Assistant in the CIRMMT McGill Digital Orchestra Project, and holds a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Photo by Pierre Grandidier