Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti is a Scottish violinist and teacher born (in West Kilbride) on July 20, 1987.  (West Kilbride is a very small village located about 33 miles west of Glasgow)  She is known for being a child prodigy.  She began her violin studies with Brenda Smith at age 4.  By age 8, she was the concertmaster of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.  In September of 1997, she began studying at the Yehudi Menuhin School.  She was 10 years old.  There, she studied with Natasha Boyarskaya.  She made her public debut one year later at Wigmore Hall in London.  I don’t know what piece she played then.  Her later teachers included Pavel Vernikov (concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, according to one source) and Maciej Rakowski, concertmaster of the English Chamber Orchestra.  She has received quite a number of awards, too numerous to mention; however, as far as I know, she has never entered a major violin competition.  By her late teens, she was already an established concertizing artist.  She also formed a piano trio in 2008.  Benedetti has played a Stradivarius from 1717 (the Gariel Stradivarius, previously owned by Jaime Laredo) and the Earl Spencer Stradivarius (1712 or 1723) which she is probably currently playing.  Her discography is not extensive (quite understandably, given that there’s not much repertory left to record - new concertos are not worth recording and every standard concerto has already been recorded dozens of times by very prominent and some not-so-prominent artists.)  Here is one YouTube video of her playing.  Photo is courtesy of Simon Fowler.  

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