Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad, a native of Ukraine, is a pianist and collaborator with a flourishing career on both sides of the Atlantic. Before deciding to pursue a career as a collaborative pianist, she won numerous top prizes as a soloist at various international piano and chamber music competitions, including the International Competition for Young Pianists (Belgrade, Serbia), the Kyiv State Chamber Ensemble Competition (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Sergei Taneyev International Chamber Ensemble Competition (Kaluga, Russia), and the International Chamber Ensemble Competition (St. Petersburg, Russia). She has also won several competitions in the United States, including first prize with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Competition and national finalist two times in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, winning 3rd prize in 2011.
As a collaborative pianist hailed for her “powerful and beautiful” (Polly Magazine) playing, Kseniia has worked with opera and vocal music organizations across the U.S. She has been a part of the music staff for San Francisco Opera’s productions of Carmen, Manon Lescaut, Fidelio, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Dream of the Red Chamber, and Eugene Onegin and collaborated with such conductors as Nicola Luisotti, James Gaffigan, Eun Sun Kim, Bertrand de Billy, Henrik Nánási, and others. She has also collaborated with numerous festivals and opera companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Des Moines Metro Opera, Red Poppy Art House, LA Music Center, Austin Artist Project, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Queen City Opera, Songfest and the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco.
Kseniia is a graduate of the Adler Program at San Francisco Opera where she was a pianist and a coach during her three year fellowship. She graduated with her master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati where she completed her DMA in Piano Performance studying with Awadagin Pratt. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) under the tutelage of Yakov Kasman, and graduated with honors from the Special Music School in Kyiv. As an active Russian diction coach, Kseniia has created and taught a class of Russian diction for the Adler program at the San Francisco Opera and the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera.