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 and Manon Lescaut, and was a rehearsal and orchestra pianist for West Edge Opera’s production of Breaking the Waves. She has also collaborated with numerous festivals and opera companies such as Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Cincinnati Opera, Long Beach 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 was a rehearsal pianist, onstage pianist and Russian diction coach for “The Queen of Spades” at Des Moines Metro Opera and she held a staff pianist position at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute.
Kseniia currently resides in San Francisco, where she is a pianist and vocal coach in the Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera. 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 fellows.