Mather Pianist Vies for $40,000 Prize

Contest Down to Three

On Thursday, Mather House senior Mia Chung may find herself instantly $40,000 richer.

Chung, however, is not an entreprenuer. Nor is she a gambler. Instead, she may make her fortune from a two hour recital she gave yesterday at Sanders Theater in competetion for the Peabody-Mason Music Foundation sponsorship--one of the most prestigious national competitions and perhaps the most lucrative.

Three days from today, she'll find out whether she's won the competetion she entered almost a year ago, but she adds, even if she doesn't win the contest that started with thousands of 19- to 24-year-olds, she feels fantastic.

Lifetime of Training

In addition to the prize money, Chung--who practiced between four and eight hours each day all summer, not to mention a lifetime of training--may have also earned the chance to give a series of solo recitals in New York and Boston.

Her recital included works by Bach, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Schumann, Copland, Ravel and Rachmaninoff.

Although Chung admitted to being a tad high-strung until yesterday, she appeared calm when she took the stage as the final competitor to play for the three judges and several hundred fans.

The Big Thrill

Although the $40,000 could come in handy, she says that simply becoming one of the three finalists--along with Maryland's Glenn Sales or Julliard's David Korevaar--was an enjoyable experience.

She added that she was pleased with her performance and with the receptiveness of the audience. She also said she felt at ease despite the pressure she put on herself and the pressure of her talented competitors.

And whatever Thursday's news, she'll know whether she's going to go visit her relatives in New York this weekend to celebrate or whether to start looking for another competition.