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Move over Beethoven, here's Maedbh!

By Brendan McDaid

Published 06/08/2007

An Ulster child piano prodigy who won a hat-trick of awards at an international competition in Vienna has been hailed a "little Beethoven" by the judges.

Maedbh McGinley (12), from the Culmore area of Londonderry, was also given the honour of being allowed to perform on the original pianos used by legendary composers Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss.

The renowned Hofberg Museum in Vienna was closed to give the young Derry musician a chance to perform on the iconic instruments.

Maedbh claimed top awards in three categories at the Vienna International Young Pianists Masterclasses Competition. She triumphed over teenagers, up to seven years her senior, from Japan, Iran, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and Greece in the original composition, contemporary improvisation of jazz, and set piece categories.

The Thornhill College pupil, who also performed three concerts during the event, was accompanied on the trip by her parents Edward and Bronagh and little sister Orlaith.

Mrs McGinley said: "There were four professors and one musicologist and they pretty much convinced me she was pretty hot. The concerts blew their minds. They couldn't believe how versatile and how gifted she was."

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