Nicola Benedetti at Royal Albert Hall
20 July 1987 |
West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, United Kingdom
Universal Classics and Jazz
Early life and education
Benedetti was born in West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, to an Italian father and a Scottish mother. She started learning to play the violin at the age of four. At age eight, she became the leader of the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain. By the age of nine, she had already passed the eight grades of musical examinations while attending the independent Wellington School, Ayr, and in September 1997 began to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School for young musicians under Lord Menuhin and Natasha Boyarskaya in rural Surrey, England.
At the end of her first year (1998), she played solo in the school's annual concert at Wigmore Hall, and performed in London and Paris as a soloist in Bach's Double Violin Concerto (together with Alina Ibragimova). She played in a memorial concert at Westminster Abbey celebrating the life and work of Yehudi Menuhin.
She played to the Prince again in 2001 when she performed a concerto with the London Mozart Players at St. James's Palace. Subsequent performances followed with the City of London Sinfonia, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, etc.
In August 2002, she won the United Kingdom's Brilliant Prodigy Competition, broadcast by Carlton Television. She left the Menuhin School shortly after, and at the age of 15 began studying privately with Maciej Rakowski, former leader of the English Chamber Orchestra.
In September 2012, she played at the Last Night of the Proms.
"Playing with Passion"
In spring 2003, Benedetti, invited as a soloist by the London Symphony Orchestra, participated in the recording of the DVD titled "Barbie of Swan Lake" at Abbey Road Studios. In October 2003, as the extra feature on this DVD, "Playing With Passion" was filmed and released by Mattel. BBC Scotland, using this DVD, created a documentary on Benedetti, which was broadcast on television in the U.K. in March 2004.
BBC Young Musician of the Year
At the age of 16, she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in May 2004, performing Karol Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto in the final at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Because of this victory, she won the music section of the Top Scot award in December 2005.
Aside from solo performances, Benedetti performs in a trio with her boyfriend the German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, and Russian pianist Alexei Grynyuk.
Discography and charts
- 2005: Szymanowski: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Deutsche Grammophon)
- 2006: Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto (Deutsche Grammophon)
- 2007: Vaughan Williams and Tavener (Universal Classics and Jazz)
- 2009: Fantasie (Decca Records)
- 2010: Tchaikovsky and Bruch: Violin Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)
- 2011: "Italia"
- 2012: The Silver Violin UK #32
UK classical chart
On 27 November 2007, Benedetti was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Glasgow Caledonian University. She is one of the youngest recipients of such an award. On 23 November 2011, Benedetti received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.
- "Nicola Benedetti". Scotland is the Place. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- Nicola Benedetti, interviewed during BBC Radio 3 broadcast of 2012 BBC Proms (aired Sunday 5 August 2012)
- 'Violinist Nicola Benedetti Named BBC Young Musician of the Year'. Accessed 21 February 2012.
- About Nicola Benedetti (MYSPACE MUSIC) - She set her hands on a violin for the first time as a four-year-old Suzuki class member, an experience that reduced the Scottish infant to tears. Nicola's distress proved short-lived, however. Tears of uncertainty swiftly gave way to a passion for playing that propelled her through the eight furlong markers of graded musical examinations by her ninth birthday and onwards in September 1997 to a place at the Menuhin School, an idyllic haven for gifted young musicians set in rural Surrey.
- 2004 Nicola Benedetti - Violin (BBC).
- Benedetti makes music, not stardom, priority by Jessica Werb (straight.com)
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 2012.
- BBC Young Musician of the Year competition (BBC), Violinist, 16, wins musical title (BBC)
- Top Scot award ceremony 2005 (The Scotsman, 1 December 2005) - "But the young stars of Scotland were snapping at their heels, with the teenagers Nicola Benedetti and Andrew Murray being awarded prizes for their contributions to music and sport, respectively."
- SZYMANOWSKI - NICOLA BENEDETTI DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 987 057-7 (CLASSICAL MUSIC ARCHIVES ~ CD Reviews: Instrumental ~)
- "BBC Radio Three Lunctime Concert". London Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- Violinist Benedetti, 18, to perform in La Jolla (SignOnSanDiego.com, 12 August 2005) - Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, who recently turned 18, has already performed for the Queen of England [sic], launched a fancy Web site (www.nicolabenedetti.com) and recorded a CD with the London Symphony that's No. 1 on the BBC Classical Music Charts.
- Sting adds another string to his bow as Sir Paul takes a bold stride into the world of classics, The Times, 3 April 2007 - Full List of Nominations ... Instrumentalist of the Year; Alison Balsom — Bach / Works for Trumpet & Caprice, Leif Ove Andsnes — Horizons, and Nicola Benedetti — Mendelssohn / Concerto for Violin
- Nicola Hits The Top Spot With New Album
- New Classical Tracks: Nicola Benedetti by Julie Amacher, Minnesota Public Radio 9 May 2006
- On-line video interview for Czech TV (5. 12. 2010)