Classical musician to go on trial for killing world-renowned pianist

Miss Strelchenko was found at her home with head and neck injuries

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The Independent Online

A Norwegian classical musician will go on trial accused of murdering a world-renowned concert pianist.

John Martin, 48, denies murdering his Russian partner, Natalia Strelchenko, 38, in the early hours of August 30 last year.

Miss Strelchenko was found at her home with head and neck injuries and died a short time later in hospital.

The victim, also known as Natalia Strell, was a renowned solo pianist of international calibre who made her debut at the age of 12 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

Martin, also known as Jon Skogsbakken, is a Norwegian national and a double bass player who had been living with Miss Strelchenko in Newton Heath, Manchester.

Miss Strelchenko had performed at New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Wigmore Hall, 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.

Martin also denies attempting to murder a male youth, who cannot be identifed for legal reasons, on the same date. The trial takes place at Manchester Crown Court.

PA