An Irish teenager has been told he has a ‘Gift from God’ by one of the judges after he won an international piano competition.
Stan O’Beirne, 14, was named the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix prize after he stunned the judges with his flawless performance.
The competition included talented musicians from Russia, Lithuania and Belarus amongst others, but it was Ireland’s own O’Beirne who came out on top, despite many of his competitors being in their late teens and early twenties.
Co-director of the Piano Academy of Ireland Rhona Goulson-Chen said: “There was a jury of four, of the same nationalities, and the decision was unanimous.
The President of the Jury, Russian pianist, Victor Ryabchikov, described Stan’s rubato (his sense of timing) as ‘a Gift from God’, not something that is taught.”
As the Grand Prix winner, O’Beirne will perform alongside Barry Douglas and his Camerata Orchestra in concert.
Belfast-born Douglas is an internationally renowned pianist, and was the first non-Russian winner of the Tchaikovsky competition in the 1990s.
Goulsen-Chen continued: “The opportunity to perform with Barry Douglas and his Camerata Orchestra is truly awesome.”
“Stan’s teacher Dr. Archie Chen (my husband) and myself have worked closely with him for nine years now and, right from the beginning, we knew we had met somebody very special. But as with all these things, one needs a little bit of luck too!
“And so I believe him winning this competition, with it’s future magical concert opportunity with Barry Douglas, many doors can be opened. He so deserves all the luck in the world as, along with his wonderful talent, he is incredibly dedicated.”
Take a look at Stan O’Beirne performing below.