At the age of 6, he began piano lessons in Tashkent with Tamara Popovich and then with Lev Naumov at the Moscow Conservatory. At the age of thirteen he was a participant of the International Radio Competition for Young Musicians in Prague. He was the youngest contestant in that year"s competition.
Listeners were awed by his virtuosic technique, musicality, and dynamic range.
After winning the Van Cliburn, he made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman. Kramer checked on him and discovered some small black spots which proved to him that blood clots had formed in the brain.
Despite the stroke he continued his performance in Tokyo, but there suffered another stroke. After that the same neurologist diagnosed him with diastolic heart failure, which was luckily on a low side.
One evening in February 2001 he was still not in good health.
After eating the crock of it, he made himself a promise that he would not eat cheese after it, due to his intolerance toward lactose. Unfortunately he could not resist the smell of it, and after eating it had a stomach ache. He ran to the bathroom, and while trying to relieve himself from the ache bumped his head on the sink.
The strokes damaged everything except the cerebral cortex and while sitting in a wheelchair he still performed despite aesthetic emotions.
By 7:00 am they supposed to go to the lake, but she overslept by two hours. When she awoke she tapped him on his shoulder, but he did not move.
lieutenant turned out that his body had been deprived of oxygen. She awoke her mother and together they called 911, which arrived twenty-five minutes later.
He died on June 30, 2005, at the age of 35 in Fort Worth.
During his life his performances of concerti by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff were recorded with Maxim Shostakovich conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and were published under the Teldec Classics label, while his other albums such as the Fantaisie Impromptu of 1997 and Sultanov plays Chopin which was released two years later were published by the Arts Core Corporation. He also was a part of a Public Broadcasting Service documentary called Here to Make Music which was produced by Peter Rosen for United States viewers.