Barbican date for teenager

Luton teenager Patrick Ballantyne is to appear at the Barbican with the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland
Luton teenager Patrick Ballantyne is to appear at the Barbican with the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland

A talented teenager who plays the fiddle, banjo and mandolin will be appearing at London’s Barbican next month with the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland.

Patrick Ballantyne, 18, will join the group on March 4 for their UK debut which will be followed by a nationwide tour of Ireland.

The former Cardinal Newman student – who is reading geography at Liverpool University – said: “It was a great honour to be chosen, it’s incredible. I can’t wait to go on tour and it’s handy that it’s taking place during the Easter holidays.”

The Orchestra, comprising 60 of the UK’s best traditional and classical musicians, will perform a work specially commissioned to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising – Macalla 1916.

It is described as ‘An echo of the past - a vision of the future.’

Patrick belongs to the Luton Leagrave branch of Comhaltas, the Association of Irish Musicians. His mother, a flautist, is branch secretary and she suggested switching from classical violin to traditional Irish music.

He doesn’t see music as a professional career path but he will continue to hold workshops and judge competitions.