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Husband of British pianist convicted of her brutal murder

LONDON -- A classical musician has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for beating and strangling his concert pianist wife to death.

British judge Laura Cox says double bass player John Martin killed Natalia Strelchenko in a "prolonged and ferocious attack." She sentenced him Monday to life with no chance of parole for 17 years and 174 days.

Martin was convicted last week of murdering 38-year-old Strelchenko, who was attacked at the couple's home in Manchester, northwest England, on their second wedding anniversary in August. Martin claims he has no recollection of the killing after taking a mix of alcohol and diazepam.

Russia-born Strelchenko studied at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and had performed at venues including New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Wigmore Hall.

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