Regina Spektor was born on February 18th, 1980, in Moscow, Soviet Union, to a musical family. Her father, a photographer, was also an amateur violinist. Her mother was a music professor in a Russian conservatory and now teaches at a public elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York.
Spektor studied classical piano from the age of six, practicing on a Petrof piano given to her mother by her grandfather. She was also exposed to the music of rock and roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union. The family left the Soviet Union in 1989, when Regina was nine, during the period of Perestroika when Jewish citizens were permitted to emigrate. The seriousness of her piano studies led her parents to consider not leaving Russia, but they finally decided to emigrate, for religious and political reasons.
Traveling first to Austria and then Italy, the family settled in the Bronx, New York, where Spektor graduated from a middle school yeshiva. She then attended the Frisch Yeshiva High School in Paramus, New Jersey on a scholarship for two ...