All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Nicola Benedetti: who is she and what are her best recordings?

Nicola Benedetti is one of the world's best violinists. Here we explore the best discs by the Scottish violinist to add to your collection

Benedetti_625_0-063acbb-fb1d954.jpg

Who is Nicola Benedetti?

Nicola Benedetti is a Scottish-Italian violinist who rose to fame in 2004, when she won BBC Young Musician of The Year at the age of 16, a competition she has remained an ambassador of ever since.

Advertisement

When and where was Nicola Benedetti born?

Nicola Benedetti was born on 20 July 1987 in West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, Scotland

What nationality is Nicola Benedetti?

Nicola Benedetti is British (Scottish). Her father though is Italian and her mother is Italian-Scottish

When did Nicola Benedetti start learning the violin?

She started learning the violin aged four, and by the time she was eight years old she had became the leader of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.

What awards has Nicola Benedetti received?

Quite a few! Nicola Benedetti is the youngest person to be presented with the Queen’s Medal for Music, which she was awarded in 2017. Two years later, in the 2019 New Year Honours, she was awarded a CBE for services to music.

She won a Grammy Award in 2020 for her premiere recording of Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto and his Fiddle Dance Suite, both dedicated to her by the composer.

At the beginning of 2020, she launched the Benedetti Foundation, dedicated to putting music at the heart of UK society and bringing music to all children.

Is it true Nicola Benedetti plays a Stradivarius?

Yes she does. In 2017 London banker and London Symphony Orchestra Board member Jonathan Moulds loaned her the 1717 “Gariel” Stradivarius, after hearing her play.  In 2012 it was said to be worth £6.3m

Nicola Benedetti best recordings

Nicola Benedetti has released a number of acclaimed recordings, from concertos by Glazunov and Szymanowski to an album of Scottish music, which made her the first ever Scottish classical musician to enter the Top 20 of the Official UK Album Chart in 2014.

Wynton Marsalis 
Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite
Decca 485 0013 (2019)

The jazz trumpeter and composer’s expansive and eclectic concerto was written for Benedetti. She premieres it on disc here with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Cristian Mačelaru.

Arlene Sierra
Butterflies, Remember a Mountain
Bridge BRIDGE9506 (2018)

Benedetti joins cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Alexei Grynyuk for the American composer’s second piano trio, described by The Times as ‘a small wonder’.

Shostakovich & Glazunov
Violin Concertos
Decca 478 8758 (2016)

This powerful disc journeys from late Romantic Russia to the 1940s Soviet Union, with Kirill Karabits conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy
Decca 478 6690 (2014)

Benedetti paints a picture of Scotland’s musical landscape. She’s joined by folk singer Julie Fowlis for traditional song, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy.

The Silver Violin
Decca 478 3529 (2012)

Korngold’s lush Violin Concerto is at the heart of a programme of film classics, from Shostakovich’s The Gadfly to the theme for Schindler’s List.

Read more reviews of the latest Nicola Benedetti recordings here

Advertisement