The University of Maryland's 10th Annual International Piano Festival and Competition begins this week, bringing to the area world-renowned pianists and teachers providing lectures, recitals and concerts. Pianists from 14 countries were narrowed down to a field of 42 contestants who are regulars on the international competition circuit to compete for over $14,000 in cash prizes; judging are experts from nine countries. The preliminaries last for two days, with semifinals throughout the week and finals on Saturday the 26th, when the Baltimore Symphony performs in a concerto program with the top three finalists. A daily admission of $3 (half-price for senior citizens) gets one into the competition (9 to 5:30 this Friday and Saturday, 3:30 to 5:45 Sunday and through the week); master classes (1 to 3 this Sunday, 10 to noon through the week) are $6.50; lecture-recitals performed by international pianists (1:30 to 3 through the week) are $6.50; and world-renowned artists such as Paul Badura-Skoda and Ruth Laredo perform evenings in concerts costing $7.50. Daily schedules can be obtained at the Center for Adult Education on Adelphi Road and University Drive, just across from the competition at Tawes Theater. Plenty of free parking. Call 301/454-2201.