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Nicola Bendetti

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Nicola Benedetti started to learn the violin at the age of four. By the age of nine, she had already passed the eight grades of musical examinations, 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. [1]

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 Concerto in D minor for two violins and orchestra. She played in a memorial concert at Westminster Abbey celebrating the life and work of Yehudi Menuhin.

In the following year (1999), Nicola performed for the anniversary celebrations at Holyrood Palace with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in the presence of HRH Prince Edward.

In 2000, Nicola performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Opera.

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.[2]

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.[3]

"Playing With Passion"

In spring 2003, Nicola, invited as a soloist by London Symphony Orchestra and produced by Mattel Inc., participated in the recording of the DVD titled "Barbie in 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, filmed the documentary of Nicola Benedetti and her life with violin and broadcast it on national UK television in March 2004.

BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004

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, which was not an obvious choice, in the final at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland.[4] Because of this brilliant victory, she won the music section of the Top Scot award in December 2005.[5]

At the end of 2004, she agreed to a £1m six-album recordings contract with Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Group Classics and Jazz.[6]

Throughout the 2004-2005 season, Nicola took part in many prestigious engagements, including her solo recital debut at Wigmore Hall, royal events in Holyrood Palace and Windsor Castle for Her Majesty the Queen, and the Opening Ceremony of the new Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh.[7] Further performances included various joint ones with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and so on.[8]


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