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Leiste RK

Rudolf Kehrer, a descendant of emigrants from the region of Swabia in south-western Germany, was the great piano prodigy of the Soviet Republic of Georgia in the 1930s. But at the age of eighteen his musical career came to a sudden end. Like all ethnic Germans in the Soviet Union, Kehrer was deported to Kazakhstan on the outbreak of the Second World War. Not until 1954, after thirteen years of enforced non-playing, was he able to attend the Conservatoire in Tashkent in the neighbouring republic of Uzbekistan. His career as a pianist took off in 1961, when he won the All-Union Contest in Moscow. He became the top Soviet piano virtuoso. But as an ethnic German, he was looked on with suspicion by the regime. He was never allowed to perform in the West. Then political change in Russia brought freedom to travel; Rudolf Kehrer now taught at the Vienna Academy of Music, and gave master classes and seminars all over the world. Now aged 75, he is relaunching his career - this time in Germany.