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The very first Tchaikovsky Competition took place in 1958 with categories for piano and violin. It now takes place every four years and includes categories for cello and voice. In this gallery we take a look back through the amazing history of this world-famous competition.
Shostakovich presents pianist Van Cliburn with the gold medal in 1958. The jury had to get permission from Khrushchev before giving first prize to an American. On the phone Khrushchev asked "Is he the best?" and when the jury member assured the politician that Van Cliburn was indeed the best, Khrushchev replied "then give him the prize".
Violinist Valery Klimov (left) with pianist Van Cliburn – they both won their respective categories in 1958.
John Ogden performs at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962. He went on to win joint first prize with Vladimir Ashkenazy
The winner of the inaugural competition, Van Cliburn, performs to a packed hall.
The piano competition's very first winner was Van Cliburn, in 1958. He's pictured here with fellow pianist Emil Gilels.
Pianist John Ogden (second from right) pictured with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy (second from left) and (centre), Khrushchev at the Competition in 1962. Ogden and Ashkenazy were awarded joint first prize.
Shostakovich presents a prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition
The winner of the first-ever Tchaikovsky Competition poses for a photograph (second from the right). Nikita Khrushchev is second from the left
The great Russian composer Shostakovich awards a prize to one of the participants in the 1958 competition
Three great pianists relax at the Tchaikovsky Competition: Emil Gilels, Grigory Sokolov and Misha Dichter.
Pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy performs at the competition in 1962.
A band performs next to a statue of Tchaikovsky, outside the Moscow Conservatoire
Pianist Mikhail Pletnev was crowned winner in 1978.
The great soprano Maria Callas at the competition in 1970
Gidon Kremer, winner of the 1970 violin competition, performs during the rounds.
Violinist Ilya Kaler performing in 1986 – the year in which he and Raphaël Oleg shared first prize.
Boris Berezovsky, pictured here, won the piano competition in 1990
Nikolai Lugansky performs in 1994, when he went on to win second prize (no first was given)
The first winner of the Tchaikovsky piano competition, Van Cliburn, pictured more recently
Daniil Trifonov performs at the 2011 Competition – which he went on to win.