Alexei Sultanov
Alexei Sultanov was a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 classical pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

 of Uzbek
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...


His father was a cellist, his mother was a violinist, and his grandmother was a well-known Uzbek actress. At the age of 6, he began piano lessons in Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

 with Tamara Popovich. He became famous after winning the Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was first held in 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas and is hosted by Van Cliburn Foundation. It was created by Fort Worth area teachers in honor of Van Cliburn, who had won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition four years prior with Tchaikovsky's...

 in 1989, at the age of 19. He was the youngest contestant in that year's competition. Listeners were awed by his virtuosic technique, musicality, and dynamic range. After winning the Van Cliburn, he made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman is a nightly hour-long comedy talk show on NBC that was created and hosted by David Letterman. It premiered in 1982 as the first incarnation of the Late Night franchise and went off the air in 1993, after Letterman left NBC and moved to Late Show on CBS. Late Night...


In October 1995, Sultanov won second prize at the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition
International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition
The International Chopin Piano Competition , often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a piano competition held in Warsaw, Poland to honour the name of Frédéric Chopin. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious music competitions in the world...

; the grand prize was not awarded. Sultanov refused to accept the second prize, and suffered a severe stroke soon after. Even after a second stroke in 2001 paralyzed his left side, Sultanov continued to play the piano with his right hand with his wife, Dace Abele, accompanying him with the left hand. He died on June 30, 2005 at the age of 35 in Fort Worth.

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