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Plisetskaya, Shchedrin settle in Lithuania

MOSCOW -- Two of the Soviet Union's most prominent musical figures have decided to settle in the newly independent Baltic republic of Lithuania.

Ballerina Maya Plisetskaya and composer Rodion Shchedrin have become Lithuanian citizens and settled in the Trakaisky Lake region near Vilnius, according to Soviet and Lithuanian media.

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Plisetskaya, 65, longtime prima ballerina at Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, where she became one of the world's greatest dancers, is married to Shchedrin, 58, a renowned Russian composer.

Plisetskaya's recent relations with the Bolshoi were marked by political and artistic differences with the directors, which affected her freedom to work and travel with the company.

Shchedrin, one of the country's leading contemporary composers, wrote music for ballets in which his wife performed at the Bolshoi. He also is known for opera, orchestral, choral and other music.

In the late 1980s, Plisetskaya spent substantial time working in France and Spain. Soviet and Lithuanian reports indicated that she and Shchedrin quietly arranged to become Lithuanian citizens last year, even before the republic established its independence from the Soviet Union.

A Soviet news agency Tass report from Vilnius quoted Plisetskaya saying she was fascinated with life in Lithuania and hopes 'to forget about the outrageous disorder of things in Moscow.'

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Plisetskaya's mother was born in Vilnius and spent time in a labor camp during Stalinist persecutions in the 1930s and her father was a Jewish engineer who died in the Gulag.

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