Violinist Nicola Benedetti has been appointed Director Designate of the Edinburgh International Festival and will become Festival Director on 1 October 2022. She will be both the first Scottish and the first female Festival Director since the Festival began in 1947.
“I am deeply honoured”
Nicola Benedetti said, “I am deeply honoured to contribute to the long and rich history of the Edinburgh International Festival and the cultural landscape of Scotland. This festival was founded on principles of reconciliation and the ideals of art transcending political and cultural fracture. Following in the footsteps of the wonderful achievements of Fergus Linehan and his predecessors, I will uphold these values and greatly look forward to serving this festival, its mission of cultural exchanges, and the people of Scotland.”
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation and one of the most influential classical artists of today. She was born in the Scottish town of Irvine and began playing the violin at the age of four. As a child she studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School before going on to win the BBC Young Musician competition in 2004 at the age of 16.
Aside from extensive touring with the world’s most exceptional orchestras and ensembles Nicola Benedetti is one of the world’s leading advocates for quality music education, and she formalised her vision and by establishing The Benedetti Foundation in 2019. Since its launch the Foundation has worked with over 29,000 participants, aged 2 to 92, from 103 countries through its in-person workshops and online sessions for young people, students, teachers and adults. She was named BBC Music Magazine’s 2021 ‘Personality of the Year’, awarded in part for her online support of musicians during the pandemic.
In 2020 Nicola Benedetti won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her recording of Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto and Fiddle Dance Suite. She formed the Benedetti Baroque Orchestra in 2020 and their album, Baroque, featuring a selection of concerti by Vivaldi plus Geminiani’s arrangement of Corelli’s ‘La Folia’, was released in 2021. Nicola Benedetti was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest ever recipient, and has received nine honorary degrees to date.
“It is such a pleasure to welcome Nicola Benedetti”
Keith Skeoch, Edinburgh International Festival’s Chair of the Board of Trustees said, “It is such a pleasure to welcome Nicola Benedetti as both the first woman and the first Scottish director of the Edinburgh International Festival. In many ways she reflects the spirit of this festival; internationally recognised and respected but Scottish to her core, she’s dedicated to advocating world-class music making and innovating new ways to bring it to audiences.
“As an artist, her string of collaborators reads like a who’s who of the world of classical music and as an educator she has reached tens of thousands worldwide. I have no doubt that she will bring a wealth of new ideas to the organisation and build on Fergus’ exceptional work from the last eight years.”
Listen to the Best of Nicola Benedetti on Spotify.