Alex Beyer, an award-winning classical pianist and member of Fairfield Warde High School's Class of 2012, has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

The accolade, presented on behalf of the president, is the highest honor that can be awarded to an artistic graduating high school senior, according to a news release from the Fairfield Warde PTA.

The award, given to students 15 to 18 years old on the basis of academic, civic and artistic achievement, was bestowed on 20 artists out of more than 5,000 applicants nationwide spanning nine disciplines at a YoungArts Week event in Miami.

"It's really an honor because there are so many fantastic musicians in the YoungArts program," Beyer said. "I owe a lot to my academic and music teachers."

Beyer, called a "sensation with formidable technique" by the Hartford Courant, has performed with the Hartford, New Haven, Greater Bridgeport and Waterbury symphony orchestras. Further from home, he has played at festivals in Luxembourg and Germany, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and was the youngest artist in residence at the Killington (Vt.) Music Festival.

Beyer has been awarded a fellowship to attend the 2012 Mary Foulger Summer Institute in Union, N.J.

He won the New Haven Symphony Orchestra's 2008 concerto competition and has won state and regional music-educators' awards. More recently, he won the Stamford Symphony Instrumental Scholarship Competition for graduating seniors.

The White House-appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars selected the winners from a group of 60 Presidential Scholars nominees, chosen from 150 YoungArts finalists. The award recipients will be named U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, alongside 121 other scholars in other fields at an upcoming White House ceremony.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau will recognize Beyer and his award at the Board of Selectmen's June 6 meeting in Sullivan-Independence Hall.

Beyer plans on performing for a year before attending Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in the fall of 2013 to pursue a degree in earth and planetary science.