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Japanese prodigy, 18, wins prestigious Clara Haskil piano prize in Geneva

AFP-JIJI

A young Japanese pianist has been awarded the prestigious Clara Haskil Prize, organizers said Sunday.

Mao Fujita, 18, will receive 25,000 Swiss francs ($26,000) after beating Hong Kong-born Aristo Sham and Italian Alberto Ferro to win the coveted award.

“With him, one forgets the competition and gives in only to music and grace,” a statement on the award’s website said.

Fujita, who began playing when he was 3, has already won a number of international awards for his performances.

The Clara Haskil Prize, named after the pioneering Romanian pianist, is competed for every two years, but no one managed to win it when the last competition was held in 2015.