In 1945, Victor Merzhanov came joint first in the third all-USSR piano competition. The other winner was Richter. Merzhanov was chosen by Prokofiev to give the first performance of his sixth sonata (Richter received the seventh). He went on to perform with the major Soviet orchestras and to make many recordings.
Merzhanov was named professor at the Moscow Conservatory in 1947 and taught there for 60 years. The Conservatory announced his death today.