Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
Sylvia Thereza Silveira devotes much of her time to competing.

Competing against other pianists isn't something Sylvia Thereza Silveira necessarily enjoys. But she understands the importance that international competitions have on a young artist's career.

"On the good side," Silveira said, "it's a great opportunity to get better and develop."

On the other hand, Silveira realizes that participating in competitions has become a necessity. "You need competitions to develop your career."

The twentysomething Brazilian pianist has taken home the gold on more than one occasion. One of her crowning moments was her first-place win in the 2003 Nelson Freire National Piano Competition in her homeland. "It was great, because it gave me the opportunity to have concerts with him and to study with him," she said, referring to the legendary Freire. "He is amazing as a pianist and also as a human being."

What attracted Silveira to the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition was its no-elimination rule, which, she said, allows competitors to present a fuller side of their talent to the judges. "I feel really great about that. Whatever we worked on, we can show it. It feels like we can do our job."

Besides devoting a large part of her time to competing, Silveira has a fairly full concert schedule. She's fortunate that her current piano teacher is also a manager. Through her, Silveira has been engaged by some prestigious orchestras. A few years ago, she was the soloist with the Hannover Chamber Orchestra on its South American tour.

Silveira comes from a musical family. She began studying the piano when she was 5. But curiously enough, it was dance that brought her to the piano. "I was 3 when I started to dance ballet. I was also drawing."

One day while she was sitting at their kitchen table, her father noticed that she was drawing keyboards. Then and there he decided his daughter needed a piano. "He bought a piano for me and I started taking lessons."

If you go

What: Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Round 3

Where: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South

When: today, noon-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.; Tuesday, noon-5 p.m.

How much: today and Tuesday, $15; Thursday and Friday, $22-$42

Phone: 355-2787 or 888-451-2787


Radio broadcast: KBYU (FM-89.1), daily, 3 p.m.