Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad, a native of Ukraine, is an active pianist and collaborator on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Before graduating with honors from the Special Music School in Kyiv, Kseniia won top prizes at various international piano and chamber music competitions, including the Prokofiev International Competition for Young Pianists (Donetsk, Ukraine), the International Competition for Young Pianists (Belgrade, Serbia), the Kyiv State Chamber Ensemble Competition for Young Musicians in Memory of Yury Polyansky (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Sergei Taneyev International Chamber Ensemble Competition (Kaluga, Russia), and the International Chamber Ensemble Competition named after M. Mazur (St. Petersburg, Russia).
While completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) under the tutelage of Yakov Kasman, Kseniia established her name in the United States with frequent wins at competitions. She twice became a national finalist in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, winning 3rd prize in 2011. On the concert stage, Kseniia has appeared on numerous occasions with orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and the Chernigov Symphony Orchestra. During her studies, Kseniia has performed in master classes with artists such as Leon Fleisher, Jerome Lowenthal, Vadim Rudenko, Jose Feghali, Gabriela Montero, Margo Garrett, Julius Drake, and Martin Frost.
Kseniia also enjoys a vibrant collaborative career spanning opera, choral music, vocal recitals, and chamber music. After spending a year as staff pianist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, she continued her work as a collaborative pianist and coach as a graduate assistant at the University of Cincinnati. Kseniia graduated with her Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati where she is now working on her Doctoral degree in Piano Performance under Prof. Awadagin Pratt. She is currently touring her recital of contemporary American art song, Musical Madeleine, throughout the United States including a recent performance at SongFest where she was part of their inaugural Recital Duo Fellowship. Kseniia currently serves as principal coach with Queen City Opera and was the staff pianist at the 2017 Schmidt Vocal Institute where she worked with Ricky Ian Gordon and Craig Terry.