The husband of Russian pianist Natalia Strelchenko has been arrested after the musician was found murdered at their home in Newton Heath, Manchester. John Martin, 48, is understood to be the man police arrested on 30 August on suspicion of murdering the prodigious pianist and remains in police custody for questioning. He is a double bass player who also acted as the victim's manager.
Police and paramedics went to their home in Culcheth Lane at about 12.45am on 30 August to reports that a woman had been assaulted. There they discovered 38-year-old Strelchenko – who is also known as Natalia Strelle – with serious head injuries. Paramedics attempted to revive her at the scene but she died a short time later. A Home Office post-mortem examination has been carried out and found that Strelchenko died from head and neck injuries.
Strelchenko was a precocious talent from an early age and performed her first concert aged just 12 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. She was a student at the St Petersburg State Conservatory and studied at the Norwegian State Academy of Music for three years from 2007. Her family said in a statement: "Natalia was a talented, beautiful, much-loved mother, daughter, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed."
Detective Superintendent Phil Reade from Greater Manchester Police's major incident team said: "This is a tragic incident in which a talented young lady has lost her life. Natalia's family, many of whom live outside the UK, are understandably beside themselves at their loss and we are doing everything we can at this time to support them. We are determined to find out exactly what has led to Natalia being taken from them in this way. We have a team of detectives investigating this murder and are asking for anyone with information that may assist our enquiries, to please get in touch."
Anybody with information should contact GMP's Major Incident Team on 0161 856 9283 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.