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Americans Win Second Prize in Singing, Sixth in Violin

July 1, 1986

MOSCOW (AP) _ American Soprano Barbara Kilduff, performing arias by Russian and French composers, won second prize Tuesday in the vocals competition at the prestigious Tchaikovsky music contest.

In the violin competition, David Kim of New York shared sixth prize with Soviet contestant Dmitry Berlinsky. The only other American among the 12 finalists, Frank Almond, 22, of San Diego, received a diploma but no prize.

Top honors for violin were shared by Soviet Ilya Kaler and Frenchman Rafael Oleg.

″The audience went crazy for me,″ said Ms. Kilduff, a 27-year-old Huntington, N.Y., native. ″The audience is the best barometer of what an artist is to them (the Soviets). They’ve been overwhelmingly nice, friendly.″

Ms. Kilduff sang arias from Ambroise Thomas’ ″Hamlet″ and Nicolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov’s ″Le Coq d’Or.″

She shared the second prize with Romanian mezzo soprano Ana-Felicia Filip. Each was given a silver medal. They split $2,800 in prize money.

First prize went to Soviet mezzo soprano Natalia Yerasova, 31, who appears at the opera theater at Perm in the Urals. Soviet soprano Maria Muradyan- Gulegina won the third prize.

In the men’s competition, four Soviets won the top three prizes. Bariton Grigory Gritsiuk and bass Alexander Morozov shared the first prize. Bass Barseg Tumanyan came in second and bass Sergei Martynov was third.

American violinist Kim, 23, said after winning sixth place, ″This is one of the happiest days of my life.″ He said his mother began sending him to violin lessons when he was three but died when he was 14.

″I just wish she could be here to see this. This is 30 percent me and 70 percent her, I think,″ he said.

Cellists play their final round Wednesday and pianists on Thursday.

The American finalists in the cello competition are Sara Sant’Ambrogio, 24, of New York City; John Sharp, 26, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Bion Yuting Tsang, 19, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The American finalists in the piano competition are David Buechner, 26, and William Wolfram, 30, both of New York City.

Earlier Tuesday, the Great Hall was packed to hear the sensation of this year’s piano competition, Barry Douglas of Northern Ireland.

He won 10 minutes of applause for his Tchaikovsky Concerto in B Flat Minor. As he came back on stage to perform his second work, Brahms’ Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, some members of the audience shouted, ″Pervaya premiya,″ ″First prize.″

Douglas was mobbed in the dressing room after his performance, but pleaded with eager Soviet fans to let him rest and did not leave the conservatory until crowds waiting for him outside had dispersed.

When the contest began two weeks ago, Ms. Kilduff competed against 68 other singers. In the third and final round Monday night, 17 singers were left.

The jury, headed by mezzo soprano Irina Arkhipova, announced the results at 1 a.m. Tuesday.

″I feel happy, of course,″ Ms. Kilduff in an interview. ″I feel better than I did last night, because I was so tired then. The news hadn’t sunk in.″

Ms. Kilduff has a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Most recently, she sang at the San Francisco Opera as a junior artist. ″I’ve been singing small roles and covering big ones,″ she said.

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