Natasha Vlassenko Plays Beethoven – SYDNEY 24 May 2013


Theme & Variations Piano Services and the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition proudly presents ………..


Natasha Vlassenko plays Beethoven


Friday 24 May, 6:30pm


Theme & Variations Piano Services (Sydney Showroom)

451 Willoughby Road, Willoughby



Beethoven Sonata op 22 in B Flat major

Beethoven Fantasie op 77

Beethoven Sonata quasi una Fantasia op 27 No 2 “Moonlight”


Celebrating Lev Vlassenko’s 85th birthday year.


Entry by Donation – Proceeds to the 2013 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition




Phone (02) 9958 9888





Limited Seating – early bookings recommended


The 8th Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition is on in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) from 11 – 24 August 2013.  Internationally renowned pianists John Lill and Kalle Randalu join the 2013 jury.  All performance rounds and the spectacular final night, performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, are happening at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.


Natasha Vlassenko

Natasha Vlassenko was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow Central Music School and Moscow Conservatory.  She studied under Professor Jakob Flier and later pursued postgraduate studies with her father, Professor Lev Vlassenko.  As a student, she was awarded the prestigious Tchaikovsky Scholarship.

Natasha has won major prizes in several international competitions including the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna and the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy.  She has given recitals in many countries and has played under the baton of Rozhdestvensky, Osterriher, Pletnev, Martin, Verbitsky, Chivjel, Hickox and many others. Natasha has recorded for Moscow Radio and TV stations as well as ABC radio, she has released a number of CD’s.

Before coming to Australia, Natasha taught at the Central Music School of Moscow Conservatory.  She is now Head of Keyboard Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Many of her students became prize winners of major International and National piano competitions

In 1999 Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov became the founders and artistic directors of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition


Earlier this year (2013), Natasha Vlassenko performed in the International Beethoven Piano Festival (Germany) to critical acclaim.   In June 2013, Natasha will be on the Jury for the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna.


About the Competition

Principal Sponsors: Griffith University, Arts Queensland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Theme & Variations Piano Services.  Theme & Variations Piano Services provide performance and practice pianos for the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition and also offer the first prize money.

The Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition was established in memory of the late Professor Lev Vlassenko, the world-renowned international concert pianist and teacher. Lev had a close affiliation with Australia, acting as jury member of the Sydney International Piano Competition and International Professor Consultant to the Queensland and Sydney Conservatoriums. He spent the last two years of his life teaching piano at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate.

Lev firmly believed in the great potential of the Australian piano school, but stressed the need for an opportunity for emerging artists to gain the experience necessary for competition at international level.  At present, young Australian pianists lack concert experience, lack exposure to international competition standards and are drawn overseas in search of greater opportunities.

The Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition is the only major piano event in Australia that mirrors the requirements of an international competition, such as a demanding repertoire, national and international jury members, all rounds open to the public, and the final round’s concertos performed with a major symphony orchestra (the Queensland Orchestra).  Apart from preparing young artists for an extremely demanding professional career, the Competition is aimed at providing publicity and performance opportunities for the winners, in addition to considerable cash prizes.

It is hoped that the Competition will be strongly supported by the community. This event is a necessary transition in the development of the Australian piano school and will without doubt raise the standard of performance nation- wide, leading Australia onto the international platform in its own right.


More information here


Lev Vlassenko

World-renowned international concert pianist and teacher, Lev Vlassenko, began his concert life early.

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1928, he attended the Special Music School for gifted children, studying under Professor Virsaladze. In 1948, he entered the Moscow State Conservatory and was a student of Professor Flier for eight years, including a period of postgraduate studies.

In 1956, he was awarded 1st Prize and Gold Medal at the Liszt International Piano Competition in Budapest, and in 1958 was second prizewinner in the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. Emil Gilels stated, “One of the most thrilling moments of the competition was the Liszt b minor Sonata played by the Soviet pianist, Lev Vlassenko. In the interpretation of this monumental work, the pianist displayed a big romantic line, sincerity and deep penetration into the music.”

Vlassenko was on the staff of the Moscow Conservatory from 1957 and later became Professor and Chair of Piano. Many of his pupils have been prizewinners of international competitions and made outstanding international careers, such as Mikhail Pletnev who was his assistant at the Moscow Conservatory for many years.

Lev Vlassenko gave many concert tours throughout Europe, America and Japan, and was a jury member of many of the leading International Piano Competitions, including Leeds, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Lisbon, Montreal, Tokyo, Bolzano, Athens, Sydney, Maryland, Gina Bachauer, Zurich, Budapest and Madrid. In 1994 he was President of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition.Lev Vlassenko was the President of the International Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars and also President of the Russian Branch of the European Piano Teachers’ Association. In 1991 he was given the honorary title, “People’s Artist of the USSR” – President Gorbachov’s last decree.

Later in his life, Lev lived in America. For two years, he was a Professor at Bloomington, Indiana University and also at the New EnglandSchool, Boston.  He gave masterclasses at the Juilliard School, New York; Curtis Institute, Philadelphia; MichiganUniversity and leading Conservatoriums in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Israel and Australia.

In addition to his activities as a concert pianist, professor and adjudicator, he was frequently in demand for radio and television talks on music and for the production of recordings (22 discs).

In 2000 one of Moscow’s music schools was named after Lev Vlassenko.


Later in 2013, there will be a big festival in Moscow in memory of Lev Vlassenko where both Natasha and husband Oleg Stepanov will perform.  Natasha will be playing with Russian National Orchestra under Michael Pletnev (also a pupil of Lev Vlassenko)


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