The Russian pianist Ilya Rashkovskiy has just been awarded 1st prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition 2012 in Japan. In the final concerto round on Friday, he performed Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto with the resident orchestra. He was also awarded the Audience Prize, which is not surprising given his popularity in Singapore and Hong Kong.

For the record, here are the six prizewinners in what is arguably Asia's most prestigious piano competition:

1st Prize: ILYA RASHKOVSKIY (Russia)
2nd Prize: NOZOMI NAKAGIRI (Japan)
3rd Prize: TAKASHI SATO (Japan)
4th Prize: ANNA TSYBULEVA (Russia)
5th Prize: JOON KIM (Korea)
6th Prize: KEI TAKUMI (Japan) 

I first got to know Ilya in 2005 when he won 1st prize at the Hong Kong International Piano Competition. Then only 21 years ago, I had predicted that he would win further first prizes at other major international piano competitions. He came close on a few occasions, but he was not to be denied this time! A roll call of his major prizes is as follows:

1st Prize, Vladimir Krainev International Piano Competition 1999
2nd Prize, Marguerite Long International Piano Competition 2002
1st Prize, Hong Kong International Piano Competition 2005
4th Prize, Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition 2007
2nd Prize, Vianna da Motta International Piano Competition 2010
3rd Prize, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition 2011
1st Prize, Hamamatsu International Piano Competition 2012

With this win, he gets performance opportunities in Tokyo, New York, France (La Roque D'Antheron),  and Poland (Duznicki). Let's hope he has time to perform in Singapore again next year!