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The world-famous pianist, conductor and composer Mikhail Pletnev was born in 1957 in Arkhangelsk. At the age of 13, he enrolled in the Central School of Music to play the piano, then studied at the Moscow Conservatory from the age of 21. In 1978 he won the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, which is one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world. After that his career skyrocketed, and he was invited to perform in the United States the following year.

In 1999 he founded his own orchestra, which he conducted for a decade. As a pianist and conductor he has made many recordings.