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. Recent and future performances include engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, WDR Cologne, Camerata Salzburg, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice, Mariinsky Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Strasbourg Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras amongst others.
The 14/15 season will see Nicola further her passion for music of the Italian Baroque and historical performance realized in collaborations with Andrea Marcon and WDR Cologne, Venice Baroque Orchestra and a European tour with La Cetra Barokorchester Basel.
These international appearances have resulted in her working with a host of distinguished conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach, James Gaffigan, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Jakub Hrusa, Vladimir Jurowski, Louis Langrée, Andrew Litton, Jiří Bělohlávek, Sir Neville Marriner, Diego Matheuz, Kristjan Järvi, Neeme Jaarvi, Paavo Järvi, Donald Runnicles, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaap van Zweden.
With her regular duo partner, pianist Alexei Grynyuk, Nicola frequently performs in recital making appearances in in the world’s leading concert halls. Most recently she appeared in her capacity as Artist in Residence at this year’s Cheltenham International Music Festival, Dresden Musikfestipiele, the Sapienza in Romea and Maison Symphony in Montreal and prior to this has given recitals in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Paris, Sacile, New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. Future recitals include performances at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Aix en Provence and Trieste Italy.
Nicola is a devoted chamber musician and collaborates with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk, who have been performing as a trio since 2008. They recently undertook an extensive tour of Scotland including performances at the Edinburgh Usher Hall and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Recent and future highlights include concerts at LSO St. Luke’s, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Die Glocke Bremen, Hong Kong City Hall, two tours of South America South America and, at the Ravinia, Schloss Elmau, Istanbul 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. Piloted in March 2013 at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, these sessions gave hundreds of aspiring young string players the opportunity to rehearse, undertake and observe masterclasses culminating in a performance alongside Nicola. She will present The Benedetti Sessions at the Royal Albert Hall in September 2013 and Nicola has plans to develop this exciting initiative on an international scale.
Winner of Best Female Artist at the 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). Her most recent recording, The Silver Violin, is particularly renowned for its success in reaching No. 30 in the UK pop charts simultaneously to topping the classical charts for months. 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 was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours in recognition of both her international music career and for her work with musical charities throughout the UK. In addition, she 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.