Famed pianist murdered: Natalia Strelchenko

Published: September 2, 2015

Famed pianist murdered: Natalia Strelchenko, The partner of a world-renowned concert pianist has made his first appearance in court accused of her murder.

Natalia Strelchenko, 38, was found with head and neck injuries at her home in Newton Heath, Manchester, on Sunday and died a short time later in hospital.

Russian-born Strelchenko, also known as Natalia Strell, was a solo pianist of international calibre who made her debut aged 12 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

John Martin, 48, made a brief appearance at Manchester magistrates court where he was further remanded in custody. He was led into the dock wearing matching grey jogging bottoms and sweater. He spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

The court heard Martin was accused of the murder of Natalia Strell and the attempted murder on the same date of a youth who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Martin, of Newton Heath, stood with his head bowed for much of the hearing. He will appear at Manchester crown court for a preliminary hearing on Friday.

Strelchenko has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall in central London, winning praise from the classical music press. She had been artist in residence at Leeds College of Art and a research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

Neighbours said she had been living in Manchester for about two years after moving from Norway, but the family were often away from home on tour playing concerts, according to local reports.

Her family said in a statement: “Natalia was a talented, beautiful, much-loved mother, daughter, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed.”

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