Breaking: Tchaikovsky winner is arrested in Moscow

Breaking: Tchaikovsky winner is arrested in Moscow


norman lebrecht

February 09, 2020

The international violinist Anastasia Chebotareva has been arrested in Moscow on embezzlement charges.

Chebotareva shared second prize at the 1994 International Tchaikovsky Competition with the US violinist Jennifer Koh. No first prize was given that year.

Chebotareva, now 47, went on to play with major orchestras worldwide.

She married a man called Andrei Popov, who became known as ‘God Kuzya’, leader of a religious cult.

Kuzya was convicted in 2018 of fraud and sentenced to five years in a penal colony.

Chebotereva was placed on the police wanted list. Arrested this week, it was claimed in court that she is suffering from a brain tumour and epilepsy. She was remanded in custody until March for further investigation. Popov is reported to have disowned her.



  • Eugene Soifertis says:

    So sad…years ago I have performed with her in Italy.She was a great violinist and decent, adorable person.Won.t believe she able to commit a crime,clearly her financial situation should be good.
    Seems became a victim of a crook.

    • esfir ross says:

      No detail of crime. From who she stole? Hello to E.Soifertis: I have you D.Chimorosa wonderful CD of piano sonatas. I champion this sonatas of composer that lived in Russia

  • V.Lind says:

    Have the Russians suddenly taken issue with violins and those who play them?

  • The View from America says:

    This movie script could write itself.

  • Mary f Patterson says:

    She sure doesn’t look like she’s unwell, but it’s Russia and Putin so there’s that! Free her now!!