Japanese Pianists Win Top, Second Prizes in Paris Contest

Society Culture

Paris, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japanese artists won the first and second prizes in the piano category of the Long-Thibaud-Crespin international classical music competition in Paris on Saturday.

"Winning the competition was beyond expectations," Kenji Miura, 26, who captured the First Grand Prix, said after the award ceremony. "I'm glad that my hard work has been recognized," he added. "First, I want to tell the news to my fiancee," Miura said, adding, "I will work harder and take on new challenges."

Miura, who is from Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, is currently studying at Hanns Eisler Musik Hochschule, a music university in Berlin. While no one in his family focuses on music, Miura started to play the piano at the age of 4 "on his own will."

Keigo Mukawa, 26, the winner of the Second Grand Prix, said: "I'm fully satisfied with the second prize. I'm now really happy because I had dreamed of playing (in the competition) as a finalist." A native of the city of Tokai, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, Mukawa, who began to play the piano when he was 3, now studies at Conservatoire de Paris.

The Long-Thibaud-Crespin competition, known as a gateway for young artists to success, started in Paris in 1943, during World War II, when the French capital was under German occupation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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