Frank Patterson Biography

"Ireland's Golden Tenor," Frank Patterson was born and raised in Tipperary; announcing his intentions to become a singer on his first day of school, he performed as a member of the local group the Wren Boys as a teen before quitting school to work in his mother's printing business. Upon relocating to Dublin in 1961, Patterson studied vocal technique, and three years later he entered the Feis Ceoil, taking home top honors in no less than four competions including oratorio, lieder and the German Gold Cup. His success ultimately resulted in a contract with the Phillips label, and he also toured with Janine Micheau in several tours of Pelleas and Melisande. Although his early work was primarily in the classical mode, as time wore on Patterson turned increasingly towards pop, with a particular emphasis on traditional Irish ballads; often appearing with his wife, concert pianist Eily O' Grady, he performed sellout concerts everywhere, from London's Royal Albert Hall to New York's Carnegie Hall. Rising to even greater prominence with the new popularity of Celtic music in the 1990s, Patterson saw many of his past recordings reissued for American audiences, and in 1998 starred in the PBS special Ireland in Song, concurrently issuing an LP of the same name. Patterson died of a brain tumor on June 10, 2000; he was 61. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi


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