Grammy award-winning pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev appeared in court in Thailand on Monday to face allegations that he raped a 14-year-old boy.
The 53-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
After the hearing, Pletnev issued a statement denying media reports that police had found sexually explicit images of children at his house in Pattaya earlier this month.
Pletnev came to fame in 1978 when as a young pianist he won the presigitious Tchaikovsky Gold Medal prize.
He later went on to have an illustrious career as a conductor and holds the title of ‘People’s Artist’ —the highest state award in Russia for those working in the arts.
Pletnev is currently the artistic director of the Russian National Orchestra.