ALMA DEUTSCHER is no ordinary 11-year-old. She is acclaimed as one of today's most exciting young composers and pianists, and she joins a long line of classical musicians who have genuine claim to be considered a prodigy.
Prodigy is the title and theme of this year's Music For Galway mid-winter festival - which celebrates chamber and vocal works composed by child and teenage composers, such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Glazunov, and Prokofiev - in the Town Hall Theatre from January 20 to 22.
"The exceptional talents of child prodigies have astounded us for centuries," said MFG artistic director Finghin Collins. "I have created a programme featuring composers whose works I feel are exemplary and inspirational."
Among those performing at the festival will be Alma. In what will be her Irish debut, she will play Variations in E flat major, which she composed at eight years of age. Other performers are Irish soprano Anna Devin, Swiss pianist Christian Chamorel, and the ConTempo and Esposito string quartets.
All the works to be performed in Prodigy were written before or by the age of 18, and encompass the Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods, including Mozart's Piano Sonata in E flat, K282, Mendelsshon's Piano Quartet No 2 in Fm Op 2, Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No 1 Op 1, Schubert's String Quartet No2 in Cm D32, Mahler's Piano Quartet movement in Am.
Do or Die: The Story of Lang Lang, a documentary feature from BBC 1's Imagine... series, will be screened over the festival weekend, exploring the life of the Chinese classical music star.
Tickets are €22/18/6 or €44 (family ) for the main concerts; €10/8/6 or €20 (family ) for lunchtime shows; Festival ticket is €70/€58 via the Town Hall (091 - 569777, www.tht.ie ) or www.musicforgalway.ie Admission to the film is free.