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Nicola Benedetti

Violin

Nicola Benedetti

Biography



”Benedetti’s trademark is her tone: sweet and clear in the upper register, honeyed in mid-range and velvety in her low notes”
— Classical Voice America

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 the 2016/17 season include performances with the London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony amongst many others. This season will see the continuation of the premiere performance circuit of the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto written for Nicola with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. The season additionally features two extensive tours of North America with the Venice Baroque Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra that take her from Baltimore’s Shriver Hall to Los Angeles’s Disney Concert Hall.

Most recently Nicola has enjoyed collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Camerata Salzburg, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, La Cetra Barockorchester, Orchestre Capitole du Toulouse, Iceland Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.

Conductors with whom Nicola has worked include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach, James Gaffigan, Hans Graf, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Jakub Hrusa, Kirill Karabits, Andrew Litton, Kristjan Järvi, Vladimir Jurowski, Cristian Măcelaru, Zubin Mehta, Andrea Marcon, Peter Oundjian, Vasily Petrenko, Donald Runnicles, Thomas Sondergard, Krzysztof Urbanski, Juraj Valcua, Edo de Waart, 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 Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rome, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Ludwigshafen, Bielefeld and Kiel. 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 St. John’s Smith Square in 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, Engadin and Cheltenham festivals. In Spring 2017, the trio make their New York debut at the 92nd Street Y.

Fiercely committed to music education and to developing young talent, Nicola has formed associations with 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 developed her own education and outreach initiative entitled The Benedetti Sessions that give hundreds of aspiring young string players the opportunity to rehearse, undertake and observe masterclasses culminating in a performance alongside Nicola. She has presented The Benedetti Sessions at the Royal Albert Hall, Cheltenham Festival and Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, and has plans to develop this on an international scale.

Winner of Best Female Artist at both 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). Her most recent recording of Shostakovich & Glazunov Violin Concertos has been met with critical acclaim. Richard Morrison of The Times maintains that “This riveting performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is Nicola Benedetti’s best recording to date.” Her past seven recordings on Universal/Deutsche Grammophon include a varied catalogue of works from Szymanowski Concerto (London Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding) to Homecoming; A Scottish Fantasy, which made Nicola the first solo British violinist since the 1990s to enter the Top 20 of the Official U.K. Albums Chart.

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 9.4 million people.

Nicola was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honors, in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the United Kingdom. In addition, Nicola has received eight 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.

Nicola plays the Gariel Stradivarius (1717), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

Photo copyright Simon Fowler


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