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For more information, contact Kathy Signorino, artist programs director, at or 614-728-6140.

2024 Ohio Artist Registry Juried Exhibition

Oleg Kruglyakov

Balalaika Virtuoso Russian Duo
Cleveland Ohio 44105 United States
Website: Russian Duo Website


Oleg Kruglyakov was born in Omsk City, Siberia, Russia. Many of his early experiences growing up centered around singing together with family members. Oleg began playing the balalaika at age 7 and later was educated at the renowned Yekaterinburg Conservatory.  

Oleg performed as balalaika soloist with many Folk Russian groups and toured extensively throughout the Soviet Union and Europe.  When he first came to the United States in 1998, he had the honor of performing at the United Nations.

Oleg has been commissioned to compose music for Kulture Kids theater productions as well as Kevin Kammeraad/Cooperfly Puppets’ album and video. In 2016, he was invited to perform at Otterbein University “Guitar and its Fretted Friends” Festival. Oleg was invited to perform at the “2016 International Day of the Balalaika” in Yekaterinburg, Russia and participated again in 2017. He had a spotlight role in the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s educational concerts. In 2020, Oleg served on the Jury for the Russian folk instrument competition “String Extravaganza” hosted by the Republican Music College of Izhevsk, Russia.

Oleg has four albums to his credit: one with his ensemble in Russia, one with “Moscow Nights,” two with “Russian Duo ” and is featured in the 5th edition of “World Music – A Global Journey” (Miller & Shahriari). He is a skilled audio and video editor and is available for balalaika lessons in person and on Skype.

Since 2007, Oleg has been performing concerts across North America with pianist Terry Boyarsky, as “Russian Duo.

Artist Statement

When I was a child we always sang together spontaneously in the village style during holiday gatherings.  My mother knew many Cossack songs, as well as traditional Russian, Belarus, and Ukrainian folk songs, and I always joined in.  These experiences led me to the balalaika, which I started as a young child in music school. I continued through music college and then conservatory, where I also studied conducting and ethnic singing.

The balalaika, a true embodiment of the Russian folk, is a good medium for performing all kinds of music.  Through studying it, I learned to treasure classical, ethnic, folk, and world music.  Performing gives me the opportunity to express all those different flavors.  I want listeners to share my appreciation and hope that my music will be a joyful, elevating influence.

Concertizing on balalaika is my life; I have toured all over Russia, Europe, US and Canada for the last 35 years.  Traveling in different countries, learning music from many traditions, working with others are my passions.  I am trained as a virtuoso soloist but my musical philosophy has always been about collaboration.

Now through Russian Duo – my international, cultural project since 2007 with American pianist Terry Boyarsky – we are discovering new possibilities and creating new repertoire for the balalaika and piano, occasionally adding voice and dance.  As a team of teaching artists, we invite students to experience cross-cultural collaboration.