Nicola Benedetti

By Richards, Denby | Musical Opinion, July/August 2004 | Go to article overview

Nicola Benedetti


Richards, Denby, Musical Opinion


Denby Richards talked with the new BBC Young Musician of the Year

Watching the semi-finals and then the Final of the 2004 BBC Young Musician of the Year I felt certain that Nicola Benedetti would be the winner. While all the players were well prepared and delivered their contributions with assurance the young Scottish violinist with an Italian name had the indefinable quality of the true professional, allied to innate musicianship. Indeed, she almost convinced me that Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto was a masterpiece, so eloquently and urgently was her advocacy.

That she was 16 was of no consequence in this performance. What mattered to the Jury was what they heard and saw. My own impression was that here was a genuine young musician, now ready to build and maintain a professional career. Meeting her a couple of weeks later confirmed this.

Of course, she had the advantage of being lent one of the Royal Academy of Music's wonderful collection of pedigree instruments, but it is one thing to be presented with a 1734 Stradivari Haberneck violin and another to come to terms with playing on it with only a short time to get acquainted. …

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