LAYTON -- Weiyi Le doesn't consider himself a prodigy, even though his fingers move with precision and grace across piano keys while playing difficult classical compositions by such musical legends as Franz Liszt and Chopin.
Even with 15 first-place trophies and several more second-place trophies under his belt, the 15-year-old says he's "just a normal teenager" who has practiced, practiced, practiced.
"I like the things most normal teenagers like to do," Weiyi said. "I like sports a lot -- tennis and basketball -- and hanging out with friends."
Every day after school, Weiyi, who holds a 4.0 GPA at Davis High School, can be found practicing piano for about two hours. On weekends, he ups the time to four hours.
He also takes private lessons from Gary Amano, director of piano studies at Utah State University and a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City.
A sophomore, Weiyi speaks fluent English and Chinese and is a member of the Davis High Key Club, Health Occupations Students of America organization and Science Olympiad Team. He was awarded first place in four events during the 2008 and 2009 State Science Olympiad competitions.
Weiyi has performed in concerts in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Logan, as well as in several cities in China, including Shanghai.
Weiyi can be heard at 6 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday on KBYU radio (89.1 on the FM dial) during an episode of "From the Top," which features some of the nation's best young classical musicians and is hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O'Riley.
An interview of Weiyi by O'Riley was scheduled to be part of the broadcasts.
"From the Top" is taped before live audiences around the country and airs on 250 radio stations nationwide.
Weiyi's performance for "From the Top" was recorded Oct. 9 at the University of Utah's Libby Gardner Hall. Weiyi said he enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere for his performance and was excited to meet O'Riley and others involved in the From the Top production.
"It was more of a social event," he said. "It was really fun."
Weiyi said many times the opposite is true when it comes to performing in the more formal atmosphere of competitions under the close scrutiny of judges in a program that moves quickly from one highly skilled child musician to the other.
Even then, he said, the answer to raw nerves is preparation.
"Pretty much, how prepared you are for a competition determines how nervous you are," Weiyi said.
His father, Taowen Le, said Weiyi's success as a young pianist can be largely credited to the sacrifices the youth has made throughout the years.
Weiyi started playing piano at age 6. Taowen Le said his son easily puts piano practice before hanging out with friends.
"Self-discipline is very important," said the Weber State University information systems and technology professor. "For his age, he is very self-disciplined."
Weiyi said piano is second only to school on his list of priorities.
"A musical talent is something really valuable to have in your life," he said.
"It comes in really handy to be able to accompany someone. It is something you can go to for enjoyment, comfort and fun."