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Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor Biography

Regina Ilyinichna Spektor was born on February 18, 1980, is a Russian-born American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered in New York City’s East Village. She learned how to play piano by practicing on a Petrof upright that was given to her mother by her grandfather. She was also exposed to the music of rock & roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, & The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe & traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union. The family left the Soviet Union in 1989, when Regina was nine & a half, during the period of Perestroika, when Soviet citizens were permitted to emigrate. Regina had to leave her piano behind. The seriousness of her piano studies led her parents to consider not leaving the USSR, but they finally decided to emigrate, due to the ethnic & political discrimination which Jews faced. Spektor is completely fluent in Russian and reads Hebrew, and has since paid tribute to her Russian heritage, quoting the poem February by the famous Russian poet Boris Pasternak in her song Après Moi, & stating “I’m very connected to the language and the culture.” Traveling first to Austria and then Italy, the family was admitted to the United States as refugees with the assistance of HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) & settled in The Bronx, where Spektor graduated from the SAR Academy, a Jewish day middle school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. She then attended high school for 2 years at the Frisch School, a yeshiva in Paramus, New Jersey, but transferred to a public school, Fair Lawn High School, in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where she finished the last two years of her high school education.

Regina Spektor Bio

On November 14, 2007, at her concert at Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville, it was announced that Spektor collapsed during the sound check and was taken to a local emergency room. According to the statement given to the audience, Spektor was fine, but doctors said that she could not perform that night. It was later reported that the cause of the collapse was an inner ear infection which caused intense vertigo. The show was initially rescheduled for December 6, 2007, but the date was once again rescheduled, & the concert finally occurred on February 29, 2008. After her first collapse in Nashville, she was able to perform in concerts at Mountain Stage on November 18, 2007, and at Duke University on November 19, 2007. In conjunction with the release of her 2009 album Far, Spektor was headlining at Serpentine Sessions, a series of concerts London’s Hyde Park on June 29, 2009. Other European performances in 2009 include Glastonbury Festival, Hultsfred Festival, Oxegen 2009, T in the Park, Paradiso Amsterdam, Latitude Festival, and Rock Werchter. Spektor has invited Brooklyn-based rock band Jupiter One to open concerts on her 2009 North American tour. As a part of that tour, on October 14, 2009 Spektor headlined a concert at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC. On July 7, 2010, Regina performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. Her cellist, Dan Cho, drowned the day before while swimming in Lake Geneva near the Chillon Castle. She was described as distraught, shaken, & in tears & took several breaks to regain her composure.

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