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Talon Smith, a 14-year-old pianist from California, won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition over the weekend.

Talon was awarded a gold medal and $10,000 cash at the conclusion of five days of competition in downtown Salt Lake City's Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. He was among 25 pianists ages 11 to 14, representing nine countries, who each performed two 30-minute solo programs before the international jury narrowed the field to five finalists. Each of those finalists performed a concerto movement with second-piano accompaniment by Alexandra Nguyen on Saturday night.

The new Junior Bachauer champ, who lives on his family's almond ranch in Kerman, Calif., began studying the violin at age 4 and picked up piano when he was 5, practicing on an upright piano his mother bought at a garage sale for $100, he said in his video profile on the Bachauer website. (He's since upgraded to a Steinway.) At 12, he gave up the violin to concentrate on piano; he also is an aspiring composer.

American pianist Nathan Lee, 14, won the silver medal and $5,000 cash; Miyu Shindo, 14, of Japan, took bronze and $3,000. The other finalists — Uladzislau Khandohi, 14, of Belarus, and Jingfan Zhu, 14, of China, were awarded $2,000 apiece. Lucia Li, 14, of Australia, won the Sascha Gorodnitzki Foundation Judges Discretionary Prize of $1,000.

Twenty-four pianists between ages 15 and 18, representing seven countries, will vie for medals and cash prizes of up to $15,000 in the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition this week. The five finalists will perform concerto movements with the Utah Symphony. Among the hopefuls are Joseph Buck, 17, of Spanish Fork, and Junhao "Austin" Wang, 15, of Sandy.

When • Round 1, Wednesday and Thursday, 1-5 and 7-9:30 p.m.; Round 2, Friday and Saturday, 1-5 and 7-9:30 p.m.; final round, Tuesday, June 28, 7 p.m.

Where • Rounds 1 and 2 (25- to 30-minute self-selected solo recitals) are in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City; final round at Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets and information • Daily passes, $20 ($15 for seniors, $8 for students); competition passes, $75 ($60 for seniors, $30 for students); final round, $35 ($25 for seniors, $15 for students); bachauer.com —

Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition

Twenty-four pianists between ages 15 and 18, representing seven countries, will vie for medals and cash prizes of up to $15,000. Among the hopefuls are Joseph Buck, 17, of Spanish Fork, and Junhao "Austin" Wang, 15, of Sandy.

When • Round 1, Wednesday and Thursday, 1-5 and 7-9:30 p.m.; Round 2, Friday and Saturday, 1-5 and 7-9:30 p.m.; final round, Tuesday, June 28, 7 p.m.

Where • Rounds 1 and 2 (25- to 30-minute self-selected solo recitals) are in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center; final round at Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City.

Tickets and information • bachauer.com

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