MOSCOW – Mao Fujita, 20, tied for second place in the piano category of the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition on Thursday, together with Russia’s Dmitriy Shishkin, while top honors went to Alexandre Kantorow of France.
Fujita, a Tokyo native who has performed at home and abroad, was among seven pianists to reach the finals of the quadrennial event, which began June 17 and was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Moscow.
Having started piano lessons at age 3, Fujita has claimed top prizes since 2010, beginning in the junior divisions of competitions in Japan as well as in Taiwan and Austria. He drew international attention by winning Switzerland’s prestigious Clara Haskil Competition at age 18 in 2017.
The International Tchaikovsky Competition, named after 19th-century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was launched in 1958 with the categories of piano and violin. It has since expanded to include competitions in other categories such as cello, woodwind and voice.