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Irish actress Saoirse Ronan learns Beethoven in 12 weeks

By Ken Sweeney

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has confounded musical experts by learning to play a complicated Beethoven piano sonata in just 12 weeks — despite having never played the instrument before.

The 17-year-old also stunned director Neil Jordan and left him “speechless” with her grasp of a difficult piece that even accomplished pianists find tricky.

Ms Ronan had never had a piano lesson in her life when Mr Jordan cast her as a music-loving vampire in his upcoming movie Byzantine. The film co-stars Gemma Arterton and begins shooting next month.

Mr Jordan had expected the teen to mime playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata Opus 2, No 3.

Ms Ronan rented a baby grand piano and began lessons, putting in two hours a day of practice.

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