Svetlana Navassardian was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1946, the daughter of a prominent family - her father was a well-known historian and educator, her mother a mathematician and amateur soprano. By age 9, she was demonstrating a rare gift, performing a recital of the complete Bach 2- and 3-part Inventions. She studied piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Professors Yakov Zak and Vachy Umr-Shat, following the traditions of Heinrich Neuhaus. Wider recognition came at the age of 19, when she won the Schumann International Piano Competition (1966), launching an international career as a piano soloist.
She also won prizes at the International Bach Competition (1968), Queen Elisabeth Competition (1972) and the Sidney Piano Competition (1977). Hailed as "the great Armenian pianist", Svetlana Navassardian has toured more than 40 countries - including the US, Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, Japan, China, Australia, Egypt, and Kuwait. She has performed in numerous prestigious music festivals, and in major concert halls around the world - including the "Bolshoi Hall" of the Moscow Conservatory, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Salle Gaveau of Paris, the Sidney Opera Hall, and the Asahi Hall in Tokyo, among many others. She has performed with such esteemed conductors as Vladimir Spivakov, Evgeni Svetlanov, Valery Gergiev, Vassili Sinayski, Karl Etti, Ruben Aharonian, and many others.
Svetlana Navassardian's repertoire is quite extensive, including more than 300 solo piano works from all eras - including the works of Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Rachmaninov, and many others; she likewise has over 60 piano concertos in her repertoire. Her great skills have earned her numerous accolades, including the USSR Order of Honor (1981), the title of People's Artist of Armenia (1984), and the State Prize of Armenia (1988) for performing the complete cycle of Bach's concertos.