Man charged with murder of pianist Natalia Strelchenko and attempted murder of teenager

1 September 2015, 21:17

John Martin has been charged with murder after Natalia Strelchenko was found dead of head and neck injuries. Martin is understood to be Strelchenko's partner.

Police and paramedics were called to a house in Newton Heath, Manchester, on Sunday 30 August, but 38-year-old concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko - who is also known as Natalia Strelle – died at the scene.

John Martin, 47, has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and the attempted murder of a boy who is reportedly under the age of 17.

Martin was due to appear at Manchester magistrates court tomorrow.

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

According to her website, Natalia made her debut at the age of 12, with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and she has performed at venues around the world including London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. She also worked as a teacher and researcher.

One of her final performances was with the Alderley Edge Orchestra – video below – and the ensemble’s chairman Roger Dowling told the Mancester Evening News: "She was a charming, vivacious woman. She had been in touch very recently about organising another concert with us next year and it is very sad that we will never get to play with her again.

"Natalia had a tremendous effect on the audience. She played in a very flamboyant way and she was totally approachable."

A recital in Natalia's memory is being planned at Cross Street Chapel, where she was pianist in residence.

Rev. Cody Coyne of Cross Street Chapel said: "Natalia shared with us not only her musical virtuosity, but other interests, such as painting. She was passionate about bringing world-class music to wide audiences.

"We have seen few people with such passion, laughter and joy in life and performing as her. We have felt blessed to have known her, and heard her play, and now we mourn the world's loss of so skilled a musician."

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