Named BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 2004, violinist Nicola Benedetti has captivated audiences and critics with her performances, leading the Independent to say of her, “Benedetti has the gift of communication in spades: an ability to make the music seem larger than life by sheer eagerness of musical personality.”
An exclusive Universal/Deutsche Grammophon artist this season sees the release of Nicola’s third album, featuring a new violin concerto, Lalishri, by John Tavener and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Nicola’s second album, including Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and From Ayrshire, a piece written for her by James MacMillan, received a unanimously positive response reaching No. 1 on the BBC Music charts and named “Disc of the Month” by Classic FM. Her debut album featured Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the work which catapulted her to nationwide fame after she performed it to win the title of BBC Young Musician of the Year.
During the 2007-2008 season Nicola will make debut performances with the London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Tonhalle and Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestras. In addition she will return to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and London Mozart Players and will also tour Spain with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Nicola will perform recitals and concerts in North America, including engagements with the Colorado, Virginia, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. She will also continue with an extensive recital and festival programme throughout Europe and the UK.
In the past season Nicola has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St Martins in the Fields. She made successful international debuts with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Picardie and performed with the City of London Sinfonia on a tour of China. In North America, Nicola performed with the Vancouver Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony and gave recital performances in Boston, Milwaukee, Kansas City and at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival. In addition to her performances and recording activities, Nicola has devoted herself to humanitarian and educational causes. Since 2005, she has visited schools throughout the United Kingdom in conjunction with the Sargent Cancer Care for Children Practice-a-thon, in which she encourages pupils of all ages to pick up their instruments and enjoy classical music. Nicola is also a UNICEF Celebrity Supporter. In the coming season she will also perform at a special concert for the Orpheum Foundation for the Advancement of Young Soloists in Switzerland.
She has won several awards including the Young Scot Award for 2006 in the Entertainment category, and has been nominated for two Classical Brit awards. Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, Nicola began violin lessons at the age of five. In 1997, she entered the Yehudi Menuhin School, where she studied with Natasha Boyarskaya. Nicola left the Yehudi Menuhin School at the end of 2002 and has since been studying privately with Maciej Rakowski. Nicola plays the Earl Spencer Stradivarius (c 1712), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.