The Yuri Bashmet International Viola Competition in Moscow has ended with joint winners of the first prize. Alexander Akimov of Russia and Peijun Xu from China split the 300,000 rouble ($10,000) award. Akimov, 27, is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire and a soloist with the Russian National Orchestra. The Shanghai-born Xu is 24 and studies with Nobuko Imai at the Kronberg Academy.

The second prize at the competition was shared between American Elias Goldstein and Irina Sopova from Russia. The third prize went to Russia's Armen Nazaryan.