Auckland pianist Jean-Paul Muir took top honours in the National Piano Competition in Kerikeri at the weekend.
In second place was Brieley Cutting of Australia. Lucy Zeng, a first- year Bachelor student at Auckland University, was third.
The biennial event began in an old fruit-packing shed 23 years ago. These days it attracts entrants from around the world and offers a first prize of $12,000.
Entrants this year included young musicians from Russia, Israel and Australia.
The Liszt clinched it
In the end it came down to three New Zealanders and one Australian and Jean-Paul Muir won the day. His Beethoven and Debussy had the audience spellbound, but adjudicator Albert Tiu - a professor of music in Singapore - says it was the Lizst that clinched it.
Muir, 24, who won the audience choice award at the last competition, studied with Rae de Lisle at Auckland University; completed a Master's degree in piano performance; and recently toured the US as soloist with the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
He will move to London in September for further study at the Guildhall School of Music.
Jean-Paul Muir is giving a recital at Waikanae next Sunday.