Natasha Vlassenko was born in Moscow and graduated from the Central Music School (under Eleonore Musaelian) and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory where she studied under Professor Jacob Flier and later pursued her postgraduate studies with her father Professor Lev Vlassenko.
Natasha has won prizes in several international piano competitions including the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna and Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy. She has given recitals in many countries and has played under the baton of Rozhdestvensky, Pletnev, Osterriher, Martin, Chivjel, Hickox, Verbitsky and many others. Natasha has recorded for Moscow Radio and TV as well as ABC and 4MBS Radio stations, and she has released a number of CDs in Russia, Germany and Australia. She is currently Head of Keyboard Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. In 1999 Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov became the founders and artistic directors of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition & Festival.
Highlights of recent years include a concerto performance with the Russian National Orchestra under Michail Pletnev (as part of a 2014 International Piano Festival in memory of Lev Vlassenko in Moscow), performance and release of a live CD at the Beethoven International Piano Festival in Boeblingen (Germany), and recording of a new CD "Liszt 200 years", with Oleg Stepanov on the Master Performers Label.
In 2014 Natasha was invited to perform and give masterclasses at Hamamatsu International Piano Academy (Japan) and in recent years she served as Jury member at Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna (Austria) Chopin International Piano Competition in Canberra (Australia) and Kerikeri International Piano Competition (New Zealand.).
Oleg Stepanov was born in Riga, Latvia where he graduated from Jazepa Medina Music College studying piano under Joya Lifshitz. Later on he completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Professor Lev Vlassenko.
In 1988 Oleg won the First Prize and Grand Prize at the prestigious international competition ‘Music de Chambre’ in Florence, Italy. After that he was invited to join a Russian concert organisation ‘Mosconcert’, as a soloist and ensemble player.
Since then, Oleg has performed widely throughout the former USSR and recorded for Moscow Radio and Television. He has appeared as a soloist and ensemble player in the former USSR, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. For several years Oleg collaborated with the world renowned cellist Daniel Shafran, performing in the most prestigious venues in Russia and abroad.
“Wonderful pianist, whose intellect and flexibility in ensemble produces a deep impression”
Otehstvenen Glass, Bulgaria
“An excellent partner...soft and delicate touch...”
“... A high class pianist... beautiful sonority, artistic assurance, large scale of dynamic expression...”
Oleg is frequently collaborating with Natasha Vlassenko performing two pianos and four hands repertoire. Oleg’s teaching career began at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he was invited to join the piano department as an assistant professor.
Oleg has been teaching at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University since 1992 and currently is a Coordinator of the Young Conservatorium Piano Program. Many of his students have won major national and international piano competitions and scholarships.
Oleg Stepanov is joint Artistic Director and Founder of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition & Festival which was established in 1999.