Xenia Pestova is a pianist and researcher with a special interest in contemporary repertoire and interdisciplinary approaches. She holds a Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from the McGill University Schulich School of Music. Following childhood music education in piano and composition in Russia, Xenia moved to New Zealand with her family. She continued her studies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Canada. Among her teachers are Håkon Austbø, Louise Bessette, Judith Clark, Sara Laimon, Philip Mead, Ian Pace and Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in piano, and Ross Harris and John Young in instrumental and electroacoustic composition. Xenia's awards include an unanimous First Prize at the 2004 Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona, Spain, a Special Mention at the 2003 Messiaen International Piano Competition in Paris, and Second Prize at the 2000 KeriKeri National Piano Competition, New Zealand's oldest and most prestigious piano competition.