Xenia Pestova is an astonishing concert pianist working with electronics in an unusual and colourful profile. This composition and performance workshop will cover areas of specialist techniques, working practice and research. In the New Year, University of Salford postgraduate composers will be invited to write a short piece for Xenia to perform and workshop.
As a dedicated promoter of music by living composers, Xenia has commissioned, premiered, recorded and broadcast many new works and is a frequent collaborator on the creation of interdisciplinary projects with new technologies. In addition to her love for the piano, she enjoys performing on other keyboard instruments and interfaces, including her growing collection of toy pianos and prides herself in being a Schoenhut Toy Piano Concert Artist.
Currently the Head of Performance at Bangor University School of Music in North Wales, Xenia was encouraged to learn piano, composition and improvisation from an early age in Russia. Her subsequent studies in piano performance took place with Judith Clark (Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand), Philip Mead and Ian Pace (London), Hakon Austbo (Amsterdam), Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen (Paris), Louise Bessette and Sara Laimon (Montreal). She holds diplomas from institutions around the world, including a Doctor of Music degree from McGill University in Canada, and awards including the unanimous First Prize at the Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona (Spain), plus prizes from the Messiaen International Piano Competition in Paris and the KeriKeri Piano Competition in New Zealand. In addition, Xenia has also been awarded prizes and project support grants from organisations such as the New Zealand Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.
Xenia has appeared at international festivals including Archipel (Geneva), Christchurch Arts Festival (New Zealand), Musica (Strasbourg), MusiMars (Montreal), Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Royaumont (France), Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music (Belfast) and Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts (Minneapolis). As a concerto and ensemble soloist, she has performed with ECM+ (Montreal), Stroma (New Zealand), United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg) and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others. She has a duo with Amsterdam-based pianist Pascal Meyer, widely praised in the international press for their recent recording of Stockhausen's "Mantra" for the Naxos label, which won a Diapason d'Or award (France).
You can find out more at her website.