Isaac Selya

Founder and Artistic Director


A musician of remarkable versatility, Isaac has extensive experience as a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, cellist and entrepreneur. He made his German debut conducting the world-famous Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in fall 2018. He has been a featured Spotlight Artist in Musical America, and recently guest conducted the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic in China, and Pacific Opera Project. He served as Assistant Conductor for the Glimmerglass Festival, where he coached and conducted the first-ever reading of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, with the composer present.


Isaac holds a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where he specialized in historical casting trends in Mozart’s operas. He is one of the few conductors in the world who has conducted Mozart’s complete German-language operas.


With QCO, Isaac is responsible for selecting repertoire, contracting artists, coaching singers from the piano, and conducting performances. In addition, he handles librarian duties such as ordering parts and marking bowings. He is also responsible for administrative duties such as fund-raising, publicity, and renting performance spaces.

 

Jesse Leong

Associate Music Director


With repertoire ranging from Rossini and Wagner to Rodgers & Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim, pianist and conductor Jesse Leong is a musician of uncommon breadth and versatility. He recently conducted a Mainstage performances of Ginsburg/Scalia at the Glimmerglass Festival. His upcoming appearances include La traviata with Pacific Opera Project.

Previously, Jesse worked at Opera Saratoga on productions of Dido and Aeneas, La Cenerentola, and the world premiere of The Long Walk. Mr. Leong was a Resident Artist Pianist at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in the summer of 2014, playing Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Following the highly successful collaboration between Queen City Opera and the Wagner Society of Cincinnati in May of 2014, Die Walküre, Act I, he joined the Wagner Society as its Studio Pianist. In the winter of 2013, he made his professional conducting debut conducting tenor Marco Panuccio in O Holy Night ~ An Evening of Holiday Song, and reprised the performance in December 2014.

Mr. Leong completed his Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2015, summa cum laude. He is currently enrolled at CCM pursuing a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting, with assistantships in conducting and opera coaching. At CCM, Mr. Leong received the William D. Black Prize in Piano, the Meyer Scholarship, and the Cincinnatus Scholarships Competition Voorheis Founders Award. He was a member of the University Honors Program, from which he received nine Creative Arts project grants, and the Music Director of the Eta-Omicron Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.


With QCO, Jesse is responsible for coaching singers from the piano, playing piano in stagings, conducting rehearsals, and being prepared to conduct performances in the event that Isaac gets deathly ill. He also assists with an enormous range of tasks including grant writing, stage management, editing parts, and recording performances.

QCO Board of Directors


President: Karlee Hilliard, Retired from Ford Motor Corporation

Treasurer: Deborah Lewis, Senior Life Internal Wholesaler at Western & Southern Financial Group

Secretary: Vicki Lorenz, School Age Services Coordinator at Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired 

Emily Montion, Associate Attorney at Thompson Hine LLP

Kseniia Polstiankina

Principal Coach


Kseniia Polstiankina, 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 (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Sergei Taneyev International Chamber Ensemble Competition (Kaluga, Russia), and the International Chamber Ensemble Competition (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. 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.