Violinist Nicola Benedetti has won her first Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her recording of Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto And Fiddle Dance Suite. The album features premiere recordings of two works written especially for her by composer and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. She received the award at the 62nd Grammy Awards which were held in Los Angeles yesterday.
Nicola Benedetti was the first classical solo violinist to perform at the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony in a decade. She performed ‘Bye Bye Breakdown’ from Wynton Marsalis’ Fiddle Dance Suite.
Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto And Fiddle Dance Suite
Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto In D draws on the entire sweep of Western violin pieces from the Baroque era to the 21st Century. Across four movements it explores Benedetti’s and Marsalis’ common musical heritage in Celtic, Anglo and Afro-American folk music and dance, and revels in virtuosity, taking inspiration from Nicola’s life as a travelling performer and educator. Benedetti recorded Violin Concerto In D with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru. The second piece, Fiddle Dance Suite for solo violin in five movements, reflects the music of traditional dance styles and includes a reel, a jig and a hoedown.
Marsalis’ Violin Concerto was co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Ravinia, LA Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Benedetti performed the world premiere with the LSO under conductor James Gaffigan in London in November 2015.
Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed jazz musician, composer, bandleader, educator and leading advocate of American culture. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his Violin Concerto.
Nicola Benedetti wins Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Nicola Benedetti said, “I am so honoured to have won a Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo and to have performed at the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony. This recording project has been a deeply edifying experience for me and one I will always reflect on with immense gratitude. It has been a privilege to learn and perform these two inspired and unequivocal masterpieces, and to deepen my understanding of Wynton’s compositional language, cultural richness and philosophical insights. Long-form musical pieces are often described as a journey and this sure has been a rich and fascinating one.”
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation and one of the most influential classical artists of today. Concerto performances are at the heart of her career and she frequently performs with major orchestras and conductors across the globe. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours List, for services to music, and was the Winner of the Best Classical Award at The Global Awards 2019.
Nicola Benedetti’s album Violin Concerto And Fiddle Dance Suite, composed by Wynton Marsalis, can be bought here.