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CAPTION ONLY: BALLOONS GO UP ON BAUCHAEUR

A crowd gathers at opening ceremonies of the 10th Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition Monday on the Symphony Hall plaza. "I'm Peter Mack. I'm from Ireland. I'm No. 1," Mack said as, fourth up, he drew the dreaded starting number at the ceremonies. Later Melvin Chen of Nashville, Tenn., drew No. 52. They and the 50 pianists who ended up between them will perform in preliminary rounds Tuesday through Friday, June 18-21, at Symphony Hall. Quarter- and semi-final rounds continue the following week, with the final concerto round Friday and Saturday, June 28-29, with the Utah Symphony. This year 20 countries are represented, including the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China. At stake are prizes totaling more than $100,000 and a raft of concert engagements. To officially launch the event, helium-filled balloons were released over the plaza.