Contests: Resourceful Russians

On the stage of Brussels' Palais des Beaux Arts before 2,000 cheering fans, master and pupil embraced, close to tears at the hour of their triumph. After a life of study, three weeks of merciless competition, and a midnight wait for the jury's decision, a young Russian violinist named Alexei Michlin had won last week's Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, and there to share in the glory of it all was his teacher, David Oistrakh.

With $12,000 in prize money and the guarantee of at least a briefly successful career at stake, 34 of the world's best young violinists had entered...

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