Violinist Nicola Benedetti to open T in the Park

SCOTTISH violinist Nicola Benedetti will add a new string to her bow when she appears at the T in the Park music festival in Balado next month.

The 25-year-old will be the first classical artist to open the main stage event in the festival’s history, when she appears on 8 July.

Benedetti’s inclusion in the festival line-up was organised after a meeting at Buckingham Palace between the Ayrshire-born musician and T in the Park founder Geoff Ellis.

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“Nicola and I spoke a couple of years ago and she said she would love to play as she’s a big fan of the festival,” Ellis said. “She’s been travelling the world and now the time is right, so we’ve seized the opportunity.

“Featuring classical music on the main stage at T in the Park hasn’t been a conscious decision or part of future plans – this really is about Nicola.

“She is a true Scottish talent with huge crossover appeal and I’m delighted to have her open on the Sunday.”

Benedetti will also perform in the Creative Scotland Kaleidoscope Club which hosts a diverse range of performances across the weekend, from ceilidh and classical music to dance and entertainment.

The Darkness will open the festival on Friday with Saturday’s special guests still to be announced. Other bands appearing at Scotland’s biggest music festival include Snow Patrol, The Stone Roses and Kasabian.

Benedetti began violin lessons at the age of five and later studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School.