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In Upset, Russian Pianist Wins New Competition

April 06, 2002

The jury of the first Rachmaninoff International Competition and Festival stunned spectators Friday night by eliminating audience favorite Alessio Cioni from the finals of the competition because of his "lack of preparation in his performances in the final round."

By unanimous decision, first place in the Pasadena competition went to Evgeni Mikhailov, 29, of Russia, who won $30,000, a Kawai concert grand piano valued at $28,000 and a concert date with the Mexico City Philharmonic. Second place and $20,000 were awarded to Mizuka Kano, 23, of Japan.

Cioni, 23, of Italy, will remain "designated a formal semi-finalist," however. There was no third place awarded. The three other finalists will receive $10,00 each.

The competition, organized by the Russian Ministry of Culture, Master Classes International of Pasadena and the city of Pasadena, began March 16 with 30 contestants from 15 countries.

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