I can't help but offer a few observations about the Gina Bachauer piano competition.

I have seen advertisement after advertisement bidding the masses of Utah to come to this great piano competition to see fabulous young pianists from all over the world play their hearts out. Maybe many more would come if it was cheaper.Tickets run up to $125 for the whole competition. You can buy tickets daily, but you are charged for the whole day, even if you go to just one performance. The prices are moderate for the early elimination rounds, but the final rounds are a whopping $75 with no half-day tickets being sold. This is no small change for anyone. For an older couple, it's probably not so bad. But for students paying bills or a young piano student, it's impossibly expensive.

Young people, especially young pianists, need to go to something like this. It's like the Olympics of the piano, held every four years. How would you feel in 2002 if the Olympic ice skating venue was 90 percent empty because tickets were too expensive and you had to watch on TV. I'm sure every young pianist in Utah has known about this competition for the past year, when at their piano lesson the teacher asked them if they would like to attend, and the student, of course, said, "Yes, but only if Mommy and Daddy could afford it." The irony is, the music being played cannot be enjoyed by those who most enjoy it - pianists.

I doubt many will listen to a young pianist like me, but barring a miracle, I and many others are forced to listen to the competition on the radio and miss the glorious, radiant music of the Bachauer competition.

Chris Johnson

Salt Lake City