Trifonov, who comes from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, is a concert pianist and a composer who recently graduated from the Gnessin State Musical College in Moscow. He received a prize of $25,000 and a gold medal.
Six finalists (Photo: Yaira Yasmin)
In addition to triumphing over dozens of gifted international concert pianists in the general competition, he also won the prize for the best chamber music performace, the Pnina Salzman Prize for the best performance of a Chopin piece and the Audience Favorite prize.
The second prize went to Boris Giltburg, an Israeli, who was awarded $15,000 and a silver medal. He was also awarded the prize for the best performance of a classical concerto, and the Encouragement Award – which is granted to the most outstanding Israeli competitor.
Ilya Rashkovskiy, another Russian competitor, took third place, and was awarded $10,000 and a bronze medal.
John Rubinstein with Lady Annabelle Weidenfeld (Photo: Yaira Yasmin)
In an unexpected turn of events, actor John Rubinstein got up on stage during the evening, and told the audience how in his childhood he spent time in the very same concert hall with his father, pianist Arthur Rubinstein, after whom the competition is named.
Rubinstein said his father was born in Poland, studied in Germany, had American and French citizenships and died in Switzerland – but he wanted to be laid to rest in Israel. Rubinstein hinted that his father asked to have his ashes scattered at the mountains of Jerusalem.
Only 37 out of 173 pianists who applied to participate in this year's competition were accepted. They hailed from Morocco, Russia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea and Uzbekistan, among others.
In addition to second-place winner Boris Giltburg, two other Israeli contestants took part in the competiton: Michael Bukhman and Berenika Glixman. The latter won a $2,500 scholarship that is awarded annually to an outstanding Israeli competitor.
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