Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso, was born in Omsk, Siberia, Russia. Many of his early experiences growing up centered around singing together with family members. He has a keen ear for musical styles and a deep respect for cultural tradition. He is fascinated by the history of the Russian people and well-versed in the etymology of the Russian language. Oleg began playing the balalaika at age 7 and later was educated at the renowned Yekaterinburg Conservatory, studying conducting and pedagogy. He is a protégé of Yevgeny Grigorovich Blinov, the foremost balalaika virtuoso of the Soviet Union, who performed the world over and added many beautiful pieces of music to the balalaika-piano duo repertoire. While in conservatory Oleg performed with many types of ensembles, including an ethnic music singing group.
Oleg taught at the Irkustsk School of Music, Perm College of Music, and the Perm Institute of Culture. Since coming to the United States, he has given workshops with “Russian Duo” as part of their mission to share Russian culture and demonstrate the art of collaboration. Oleg has performed as balalaika soloist with many Folk Russian groups. From 1989-91, he toured Moscow, St. Petersburg, Siberia and Ukraine with the Urals State Folk Choir. For three years Oleg played with the band "Siberian Mosaic" touring the Irkustsk region of Siberia. Between 1993 and 1998, he traveled with the Urals Folk Ensemble "Prikamie" performing in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Malta, and Turkmenistan. Oleg has also appeared with the Russian Folk instrument quartet "Golden Russia." He has participated in many International Festivals, among them the 1997 Folklore du Monde Festival de Bray-Dunes. He had the honor of performing at the United Nations when he first came to the US.
In addition to his many talents, Oleg has also participated in theatre productions. He took the role of a cello-playing prisoner in the State Tumen Drama Theatre. He had a cameo appearance performing in Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” with the Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy, coaching the cast in Russian folk songs and choreography. Oleg moved to the United States in 1998 to become part of "Moscow Nights" touring extensively in Canada, Alaska, and 45 states in the Continental United States. In 2007 he formed the “Russian Duo” with pianist Terry Boyarsky.Oleg has been commissioned to create arrangements and compose music for Kulture Kids theater productions as well as Kevin Kammeraad/Cooperfly Puppets’ new album and video. In March 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 December 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.