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18 February 1980, Moscow, Russia. Piano balladeer Spektor lived in Russia, Austria and Italy prior to moving with her family to the Bronx, New York City, at the age of nine. Her parents musical training - her mother was employed as a music historian and her father played the violin - undoubtedly rubbed off on the young Spektor, and she began to receive classical training on the piano while resident in Moscow. Despite having to leave the family piano behind in Moscow, Spektor continued playing whenever she could and in her late teens enrolled at the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase in upstate New York. She began writing her own piano-based songs during this period and teamed up with jazz bass player Chris Kuffner to record her debut, 2001s 11:11, pressing up a 1, 000 copies to sell at her gigs.
Spektor was by now a popular draw on the NYC café circuit and was championed as a leading light on the citys hip...