Alexey Zimakov, the winner of the 1991 American Guitar Association Competition in Miami, and a virtuoso player has had all the fingers on both hands amputated after contracting severe frostbite in his home town, Tomsk, in Siberia, reports Slipped Disc.
Here is what happened, according to Andrei Krylov, writing on the Acoustic Guitar forum:
He was invited to a party by friends of his father. In the middle of December.
And he certainly love and respect his father and his friends…
On the party they were drinking vodka.
I know that in Russia they usually would say — you must drink with us, full glass all the time, and if you do not drink — it is disrespect to us and your father… and so on… and so on… and they always really really insisting on it…
Party was over. He went home — it was night –44 C.
The door into apartment building was closed. He tried to call to his apartment through apartment phone system. Nobody answered (system did not work).
He bang the door… but the people who live in the building afraid of criminals and hooligans and did not open the door.
He had warm clothes, therefore he decided to wait at the door if somebody to come and open it. Because clothes were warm and he was drinking before, he fell asleep.
Nobody opened the door…Until the morning…
There is no warm room in the entrance of apartment building with the intercom system as it would be in Canada or USA etc. Therefore he was just outside. At street door…
Absolutely nothing happened with his health, no cough from cold, nothing, because his coat was very warm, Siberian type, but … on his hands he had leather gloves (they are not warm… but cold gloves, but I guess it was more appropriate to have those more formal gloves for this party), and hands were completely frozen…
I’m not sure how hospital works in Tomsk… there are probably good doctors, but I don’t think that doctors understood with whom this happened.
8 fingers were amputated. Completely.
Colleagues are rallying around to raise money for Zimakov by performing in benefit concerts.
Here is a video clip of him playing a piece by Pablo de Sarasate: