A 15-year-old Fairfield piano prodigy is one of 12 semifinalists in the PianoArts 2010 Biennial North American Competition.

Alex Beyer, a sophomore at Fairfield Warde High School, has previously won several solo and concerto competitions, and performed with the New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport symphony orchestras, as well as the Stamford Youth Philharmonic. Both in 2009 and 2010, he was the top prizewinner in the Music Teachers National Association Eastern Division. His teacher is Yoshie Akimoto in Wilton.

The PianoArts 2010 competition is for pianists, ages 15 to 20, and lasts through June 9 at Milwaukee's Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Brookfield's Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.

As a PianoArts semifinalist, Beyer will perform solo recitals and duo recitals with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra musicians for audiences and three judges: José Feghali, Joel Harrison and Robert McDonald.

On June 9, three finalists will be selected to perform a full concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts Music Director Andrews Sill. Prizes in the competition total over $20,000 with opportunities to return to Wisconsin as a PianoArts Fellow. The festival includes master classes, recitals, discussions on careers in music, and free community concerts.

Online coverage of the competition is at www.pianoarts.blogspot.com.