TEENAGE violinist Laura Barber is to perform alongside an international pianist.

Laura, 17, a pupil at Egglescliffe Sixth Form College, is leader of the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra and will perform with Gulsin Onay.

Last week, she scooped the Young Musician of the Year Award in a competition which was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Darlington.

Laura also leads her school orchestra and a soul band.

She performed with the band at a School Prom at the Albert Hall, in London, earlier this month.

Concert organiser Peter Sotheran said: "We have followed Laura's musical achievements with interest and we are delighted to be able to offer her the opportunity to perform alongside one of Europe's leading pianists."

Laura shares the platform with Miss Onay, a pianist from Turkey.

Miss Onay gave her first public performance at the age of six, on Turkish Radio. At 16 she graduated from the Paris Conservatoire.

Since then she has performed in 47 countries across the world.

Earlier this year, Miss Onay was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, as recognition of the high-esteem that she commands in her native country.

Her first concert in the North of England on her tour is at Sir William Turner's Almshouses at Kirkleatham, near Redcar.

Mr Sotheran said: "We are very lucky that a musician of Miss Onay's international standing is able to fit a visit to Kirkleatham into her schedule."

The concert takes place on December 5 at 7.30 pm.

Tickets cost £10 by credit card from (01642) 490 401 or by post from 1 Sir William Turner's Court, Kirkleatham, Redcar, TS10 4QT.

Published: 20/11/2003