Russian-born pianist Xenia Pestova is leaving Ottawa for Wales…!

Music for Piano and Toy Piano

Russian-born pianist Xenia Pestova fell in love with the sound of the Schoenhut toy piano in 2008, when she heard a recording by Isabel Ettanauer of Karlheinz Essl’s Kalimba.

Pestova loved the piece and the sound, and she immediately ordered a Schoenhut baby grand. Since then, she’s premiered several pieces for toy piano, often including them in concert with traditional piano pieces, as she’ll do Friday at Mackay United Church.

“I enjoy the toy piano because it offers a contrast to the big concert piano,” she says. “The instrument itself inspires us to smile and invites us to take ourselves less seriously. I am happy to continue sharing the instrument’s distinct sound with my audiences.”

For the traditional piano, Pestova will perform contemporary pieces by Canadian composers Chris Paul Harman, Steven Naylor, Heather Hindman and Scott Wilson.

Pestova has lived in Ottawa since 2004 but will be leaving next week for a university teaching position in Wales. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25 at MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Rd. Tickets, at $15 and $10, will be at the door.

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