PAYSON -- Robert Landes tosses around words like "repertoire" and "intonation" like most teenage boys spout game-play statistics of favored professional gridiron squads.

It's not that Landes doesn't like rough-and-tumble sports. The polite Payson boy dreams of being like Jazzman John Stockton on the court and golf pro Tiger Woods on the links.But ask him who his idols are and you're likely to get a lesson in music history.

Landes, who at 13 is an accomplished violinist, studies the legacy of famed Russian violinist and composer Nathan Milstein, who was recognized at his death in 1992 as one of the foremost violinists of this century.

"He was in an era that I like," said Landes, an eighth-grader at Payson Junior High School. "I listen mostly to classical music."

Good thing he enjoys the sound of a sweeping string section of symphony: Making sweet music on the strings of his instrument is what he plans to do for the rest of his life.

And, he says with a dash of blushing pride, his parents this year invested in a black tuxedo with tails to don during symphony performances and competitions.

"When you sit down you can push the tails behind you," he said, smiling. "Hopefully, I can win more competitions and I can get some use out of it."

Fresh off a November appearance with the San Diego Symphony, Landes, who was handed his first violin when he was 3 years old, is now concentrating on upcoming competitions. Nods from judges in previous showings have allowed him to perform side-by-side with some of the best musicians in the country.

"I don't think I'm all that good, but I guess they do," he said, shrugging. "I'm just a kid, but all these adults who get paid to do this come and listen and respect us."

Landes was one of four students chosen by Brigham Young University professor Vesna Gruppman to perform the Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra last month.

Gruppman, who studied at the famed Moscow Conservatory, is his private instructor.

"He is a wonderful student. He is very advanced," said Gruppman, who won a Grammy award in 1993 for a violin duet with her husband, Igor. "My students' successes are my successes. It's good to see them do well after all the hard work."

Landes lists his appearances with the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl and with Maestro Joseph Silverstein with the Utah Symphony as his favorite, and most nerve-wracking, performances.

Gruppman and her students were featured on TV and radio spots in San Diego.

"That was exciting," Landes said. "The Disney symphony also was on the Disney Channel. That's the only other time I've been on TV."

Now, he's looking forward to the Utah Valley Symphony's Young Artists January concert.

"When you play by yourself it is good. When you play with a piano it's better," he said. "When you play with the whole orchestra, it's awesome."

Landes, a top student who attends school in the afternoon, spends at least three hours practicing each day. His mornings are spent wrestling with difficult pieces he must learn and teaching his five siblings to play.

"My parents pushed me along until I was 10. Then that's when I started to get it," he said. "Judging from the past, I guess I like it because I'm good at it."

With his bow in hand, Landes plans to travel the world with his music. Perhaps, he muses, he'll become a university professor, teaching the art to musical wunderkinds such as himself.

"They are both kind of part-time jobs," he said with boyish naivete. "I think you get summers off."