Norwegian arrested for murdering star pianist

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Natalia Strelchenko was just reaching her maturity as a pianist. Photo: Natalia Strelchenko website
23:09 CEST+02:00
The Norwegian husband of renowned concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko has been arrested by police in England on suspicion of murdering her.

Strelchenko (38), who studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music and described herself as Norwegian, was found unconscious with severe head injuries at her home in Manchester on Sunday in what police described as a domestic violence incident. She died shortly afterwards.

John Martin (48), the double bass player who was both her husband and her manager, was arrested shortly afterwards and remains in police custody.

Martin's own career in classical music lacked the star quality of his wife's, and the couple lived most of their lives together in Norway, before moving to the UK a few years ago. The couple had a young child.

Strelchenko has performed 17 concerts across the world this year and was set to play with the Minsk Chamber Orchestra in Oslo, Norway this October.

She has previously performed solo recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall.

"Natalia was a colourful woman with lots of personality. She was always very talented, and she was an important voice in music," Strelchenko's friend music conductor and critic Espen Selvik told Norway's Bergens Tidende newspaper.  "Pianists develop over the years and her talent was about to reach full bloom. This is so tragic and sad. It is a great loss." 

Neighbours were also shocked by the murder

Juliana Hulse, 31, told the Manchester Evening News: "They go away quite a lot, they are musicians, they are bright and talented. I saw them taking a woman away to the hospital she looked quite badly hurt. We never expected that to happen. It was so out of the blue."


John Martin 

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