NICOLA BENEDETTI Nicola Benedetti (Scottish, born 20 July 1987) is a classical violinist. At the age of 20 and as one of the youngest recipients of such an award, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Glasgow Caledonian in 2007. In 2011, Benedetti received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Childhood and Youth of Benedetti
Benedetti was born in West Kilbride, Scotland, 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,.
In September 1997, Benedetti 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 performed in London and Paris as a soloist in Bach's Double Violin Concerto (together with Alina Ibragimova). In 1999, Benedetti performed for the anniversary celebrations at Holyrood Palace with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in the presence of HRH The Prince Edward.
In 2000, at the age of 13, Benedetti performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Opera. 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.
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.At the end of 2004, she agreed to a £1m six album recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Group Classics and Jazz.
In September 2012, at age 25, Benedetti played at the Last Night of the Proms. In the New Year Honours 2013 Benedetti was as a appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music and charity.
Aside from solo performances, Benedetti performs in a trio with her boyfriend the German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, and Russian pianist Alexei Grynyuk.
Photo: "Nicky Benedetti" by Allanbeavis - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons