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Two to Share Piano Prize

Two British pianists will share the first prize in the sixth Arthur Rubinstein international piano masters competition, and the third prize is going to a pianist from Poland.

The 43 original competitors were whittled down to six, and then to three, during various stages of elimination in the 14-day competition, which ended on a note of suspense Tuesday night.

The first-prize winner was to be announced at the end of an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert Tuesday night at which the three finalists each played a piano concerto.

But the international panel of judges had great difficulty in reaching a final decision, apparently because they found the quality of this year’s competitors to be extremely high.

It took the judges more than an hour to reach their decision, announced to an impatient audience well after midnight.

The winners, Benjamin Frith, 31, and Inn Fountain, 19, will share the $10,000 first prize. Krzysztof Jablonski, 24, of Poland came in third.

Israel’s Rina Dokshitsky, 23, placed fourth and received a special $5,000 prize as the outstanding Israeli performer. She also will get a scholarship to continue her studies in the United States.

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