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Nicola Benedetti

One Of The Most Sought-After Violinists of Her Generation

Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought after violinists of her generation.  Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today. With concerto performances at the…

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Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought after violinists of her generation.  Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.

With concerto performances at the heart of her career, Nicola is in much demand with major orchestras and conductors across the globe. Highlights of Nicola’s 14/15 schedule include engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Camerata Salzburg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Malmo Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Capitole du Toulouse, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

This season will also see Nicola furthering her passion for music of the Italian Baroque and historical performance realised in collaborations with Andrea Marcon and WDR Cologne, Venice Baroque Orchestra and a European tour with La Cetra Barokorchester Basel.

Most recently Nicola enjoyed collaborations with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice, Czech Philharmonic, European Soloists Luxembourg, Bergen Philharmonic, Beethovenorchester Bonn, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony of Washington D.C, Cincinnati Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and also undertook an extensive performance and outreach tour to India with the BBC Scottish Symphony.

Conductors whom Nicola has worked and will work with include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jirí Belohlávek, Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach, James Gaffigan, Hans Graf, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Jakub Hrusa, Kirill Karabits, Louis Langrée, Andrew Litton, Kristjan Järvi, Neeme Jaarvi, Paavo Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Cristian Macelaru, Andrea Marcon, Sir Neville Marriner, Diego Matheuz, Peter Oundjian, Vasily Petrenko, Donald Runnicles, Thomas Sondergard, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Krzysztof Urbanski, Juraj Valcua, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaap van Zweden.

With her regular duo partner, pianist Alexei Grynyuk, Nicola frequently performs recitals in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals with most recent and future highlights including Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cheltenham Festival, Sydney Opera House Utzon Room, Seoul Performing Arts Centre, the Sapienza in Rome, Innsbruck Tiroler Konzervatorium, Trieste Politeama Rossetti, Sociedad Filamonica de Bilbao, Subculture New York, Gardner Museum Boston and Schwetzingen and Dresden Musikfestpieles.  Nicola is also a devoted chamber musician and collaborates with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk, who have been performing as a trio since 2008.  Recent and future performances include Royal Albert Hall London, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Die Glocke Bremen, Hong Kong City Hall, two tours of South America, and at the Edinburgh, Ravinia, Schloss Elmau and Cheltenham Festivals.

Fiercely committed to music education and to developing young talent, Nicola has formed associations with education establishments including schools, music colleges and local authorities.  In 2010, she became Sistema Scotland’s official musical ‘Big Sister’ for the Big Noise project; a music initiative partnered with Venezuela’s El Sistema (Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar).   As a board member and teacher, Nicola embraces her position of role model to encourage young people to take up music and work hard at it, and she continues to spread this message in school visits and masterclasses, not only in Scotland, but all around the world.

In addition, Nicola recently developed her own education and outreach initiative entitled The Benedetti Sessions. Established in March 2013 at Glasgow’s City Halls, these sessions give hundreds of aspiring young string players the opportunity to rehearse, undertake and observe masterclasses culminating in a performance alongside Nicola.  She has also presented The Benedetti Sessions at the Royal Albert Hall and Cheltenham Festival and has plans to develop this exciting initiative on an international scale.

Winner of Best Female Artist at both 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music).  The enormous success of Nicola’s most recent recording, Homecoming; A Scottish Fantasy, made Nicola the first solo British violinist since the 1990s to enter the Top 20 of the Official UK Albums Chart.  The Silver Violin, also enjoyed a similar success in reaching No. 30 in the UK Albums Chart simultaneously to topping the classical charts.  Her past six recordings on Universal/Deutsche Grammophon include a varied catalogue of works including the Szymanowski Concerto (London Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding), newly commissioned works by Tavener and The Lark Ascending (London Philharmonic/Andrew Litton), a disc of virtuosic works (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Vasily Petrenko), Tchaikovsky and Bruch Concertos (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa) and most recently Vivaldi, Tartini and Veracini Concerti (Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Christian Curnyn).

Nicola attracts an enormous amount of worldwide media attention following the various facets of her extraordinary career and her international television appearances have been wide and varied including performing at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games to a live audience of approximately 40,000 and TV viewing audience of 9.4million people.

Nicola was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours, in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the U.K. In addition, Nicola has received five honorary degrees to date.

Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, Nicola began violin lessons at the age of five with Brenda Smith.  In 1997, she entered the Yehudi Menuhin School, where she studied with Natasha Boyarskaya.  Upon leaving, she continued her studies with Maciej Rakowski and then Pavel Vernikov, and continues to work with multiple acclaimed teachers and performers.

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An Evening With Nicola Benedetti
From the start of her performing career, Nicola has been a passionate and committed campaigner for music and arts in education. She is a Board Member and official Big Sister of Sistema Scotland, which now has 2 thriving centres in Raploch and Govanhill. In 2013, Nicola founded the “Benedetti Sessions“, a workshop programme integrating rehearsal, masterclass and performance for children and young people of all abilities and all backgrounds. Each session has welcomed anything from 50 to 300 children, from string players to full youth orchestras.

The inaugural session was in March 2013 in partnership with UNESCO and welcomed children from the greater Glasgow area and young students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Since then, Nicola has collaborated with a number of different organisations on variations of the Sessions programme, including with Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts, Pizzicato Effect Melbourne, Cheltenham Festival and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Nicola devotes a significant part of each season to education visits and workshops and is an active supporter of organisations and individuals  advocating the importance of music – and other expressive arts – in education. More and more is being added to the already huge amount of credible and evidence-based research showing that the impact of music as part of the learning process for young people not only enriches their lives by exposing them to music making and listening but also improves concentration, teamwork, discipline and confidence.

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Nicola Benedetti plays Bruch at the Last Night of the Proms

Nicola Benedetti Plays Vivaldi [Strings Sessions]

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