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Red Contributor

Xenia Pestova

Commissioner, Performer

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Born: 1979


Xenia is a versatile young pianist with a special commitment to the music of today and an interest in presenting Twentieth Century and contemporary works alongside traditional repertoire. Following childhood music education in piano and composition in Russia, Xenia moved to New Zealand with her family in 1992 and later went on to study in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Canada. Among her teachers are Hakon Austbo, Louise Bessette, Judith Clark, Philip Mead and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen.

Xenia's awards and prizes include a unanimous First Prize at the 2004 Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona, Spain, and a Special Mention at the 2003 Messiaen International Piano Competition in Paris. In addition to solo recitals and appearances at International Festivals, Xenia enjoys collaboration with other musicians and has performed as ensemble pianist and soloist with the United Instruments of Lucilin and Luxembourg Sinfonietta (Luxembourg), McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble (Montreal), Stroma and Amalgam (New Zealand). 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, Contemporary Keyboard Society.

Xenia has commissioned, premiered and broadcast many new pieces and worked with composers including Cornelis de Bondt, Ross Harris, Toshio Hosokawa and Tristan Murail. Currently based in Montreal, Xenia is undertaking research towards her Doctoral degree at the McGill University Schulich School of Music. She is a Performance Research Assistant for the McGill Digital Orchestra Project.

History of major NZ projects:

Xenia premiered the following New Zealand works:

The Hollow Men by Craig Sengelow (two pianos, cello, organ 1999)

Concertino for piano and Strings by Ross Harris (commissioned with Nova Strings, 2000)

Micro-piece for Xenia by Ross Harris, 2000

Synonta for solo piano by Philip Brownlee (commissioned with the assistance of Creative NZ 1999)

...du second infini for solo piano by John Croft, London 2001

Current project: work being written for piano and fixed electronic media by John Young (NZ/UK)

Commissioned (3)

Concertino for piano and strings

for piano and strings, 12m


for piano and tape, 10m


for piano, 6m