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Two Russians Win Awards, Violin Prize Goes Unclaimed at Tchaikovsky Competition

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) delivers a speech at the gala concert of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition at the Moscow Conservatory, Russia, July 2, 2015.

A Russian pianist, a Romanian cellist and singers from Mongolia and Russia scooped the top honors at the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, though no first place prize was awarded in the violin category.

At the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow late on Wednesday, the jury picked finalists in four categories — piano, cello, violin and voice. The winners received a gold medal and $30,000 each.

Russian mezzo soprano Yulia Matochkina won the first prize in the female singers' category. The 32-year-old made her debut at St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre in 2009 in "Le Nozze di Figaro" and has since toured with its opera company.

Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, 27, who won a prize as best singer in his home country in 2012, took the gold medal in the male opera singers' category.

In the cello category, Romania's Andrei Ionita, 20, scooped the top prize. He has performed with orchestras in Germany, France and Russia and is said to play a cello made in 1671 by Giovanni Battista Rogeri.

Among the pianists, Russian Dmitry Masleyev, 27, was the winner. The Moscow Conservatory graduate has won several competitions in the past.

The jury did not award a gold medal in the violin category and the second prize — a silver medal and $20,000 — went to Taiwan's Yu-Chien Tseng, 20.

The competition is named after Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and is held every four years. This year it was dedicated to Tchaikovsky's 175th birthday anniversary.

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