Kerikeri International Piano Competition

Adjudicators for KIPC 2014

Christopher Elton
Professor Emeritus
Royal Academy of Music, London. UK
Professor of the University of London

Born in Edinburgh, Christopher Elton studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he achieved the unusual distinction of gaining the Academy’s highest performing award — the Dip. RAM — on both piano and cello. He was elected a Fellow in 1983. In 2002, he received the title of Professor of the University of London.

Christopher's international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students at the Royal Academy of Music who have won international awards, including first prizes in the Van Cliburn and London “World” International Piano Competitions. Many of his students, such as Freddy Kempf, Ashley Wass and Yevgeny Sudbin are now successful recording artists.

Christopher is much in demand overseas both as a teacher and as a jury member for international competitions which have included events in Germany, Japan, Romania and Ireland as well as in the UK.


Natasha Vlassenko
Head of Keyboard Studies, Senior Lecturer in Piano
Griffith University, Queensland. Australia

Natasha Vlassenko was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Professor Jakob Flier. She later pursued her postgraduate studies with her father, Professor Lev Vlassenko.

She was awarded the prestigious Tchaikovsky Scholarship and went on to win major prizes in international competitions, including the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna and the Busoni International competition in Bolzano, Italy.

As well as performing in Australia and in the territories of the former USSR, Natasha has also played and given masterclasses in Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea and New Zealand.

Together with Oleg Stepanov, Natasha is the founder and Artistic Director of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in Brisbane.


Terence Dennis
William Evans Professor
Professor and Head of Performance Studies
Otago University, Dunedin. New Zealand

Terence Dennis was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is a graduate of the University of Otago, and of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, Germany where he obtained his Konzertexamen with distinction. He is currently professor and head of Performance Studies at the University of Otago Department of Music in Dunedin, New Zealand, the first performance staff member to be appointed to a professorial chair in this nation.

Terence has been acclaimed both overseas and in New Zealand for his performances, teaching, masterclasses and presentations, regularly partnering leading resident musicians and distinguished visiting artists in recital including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel, Sir Donald McIntyre, Sarah Walker and cellist Maria Kliegel. He has been official pianist for seven international string competitions and guest adjudicator for regional finals of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Auditions Competition in the United States. Terence Dennis was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, and in 2009 appointed a Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of Humanities