Worldwide shock as investigation begins into the murder of a much loved mother and musician.

The world-renowned pianist Natalia Strelchenko has been murdered, allegedly by her husband, John Martin, in a domestic incident at their home in Manchester, England. Her body was found early on Sunday morning with multiple head and neck injuries.

Martin, a double bass player who also acted as her manager, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody. Their home where the incident is believed to have happened has been sealed off for forensics teams to gather information and examine the scene.


Strelchenko and her family

Strelchenko, also known as Natalia Strelle, was born in Russia but spent much of her life in Martin’s native Norway. The couple had moved to the UK five years ago when Strelchenko’s son, Leo Strelle, won a violin scholarship at the age of eight to the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music, where he currently studies with Kristoffer Dolatko. The talented musical family were often travelling for performances and often played together, using their combined initials to call themselves Trio Lenajo.

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

Strelchenko made her debut at 12 years old with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and went on to perform numerous international solo recitals including the Transcendental Études by Franz Liszt at New York’s Carnegie Hall and several solos at the Wigmore Hall in London. She was also an artist in residence at Leeds College of Art and a research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. This year, she had already performed 17 concerts worldwide and was due to perform Mozart Concerto No 24 with the Minsk Chamber Orchestra in Oslo in October.

Considered to be one of Norway’s most renowned solo pianists, she was adored not only for her extraordinary talent but also her exceptional stage charisma. In a superlative review after one of a performance, The Times wrote: “The next time Natalia Strelchenko comes to town, be there. Even before this 30-year-old pianist from Norway plays a note she lights up your life… She also runs leaving the stage, though she has nothing horrid to escape from.” Tragically, it seems the only thing she may have needed to run from was her own husband.