Grammy award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti has been appointed Honorary President of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
She joins an esteemed company of Honorary Presidents of the institution which has included Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dame Judi Dench and, most recently, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer of musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
Nicola Benedetti’s first duty as Honorary President will be to address graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who are returning on 6 July to celebrate their achievements, having missed out on their in-person ceremonies due to the pandemic.
One of the world’s leading advocates for music education
Aside from touring extensively 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.
In March 2022 Nicola Benedetti was 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.
Nicola Benedetti was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours list in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the United Kingdom, and awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest-ever recipient. In addition, she has received nine honorary degrees to date.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland also announced that Dr Bridget McConnell, who retired last month as Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, was appointed Honorary Vice President.
The roles of Honorary President and Vice Presidents are historic positions at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which this year celebrates its 175th anniversary. Appointees are invited to serve for a five-year term.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said, “In Nicola and Bridget, as our new Honorary President and Vice President, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is extremely lucky to have outstanding international cultural leaders and role models who are passionate and knowledgeable advocates for the power of the arts. I’m thrilled and proud to have them as part of our community.
“The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has a history of prestigious cultural figures and notable leaders as Honorary Presidents and Vice Presidents. Our warmest thanks to Sir Cameron Mackintosh, our retiring President for his service. He continues to hold a special place in the heart and history of this institution, and we hope that our students, current and future, might continue to benefit from his thought leadership and experience. I’m also very grateful to Lord Gill, who recently completed his terms of office as an Honorary Vice President as well as Chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trusts.”
“It is such an honour to be appointed Honorary President”
Nicola Benedetti noted, “It is such an honour to be appointed Honorary President of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as it celebrates its 175th anniversary and to follow such an illustrious list of people in this role. Institutions that nurture the highest excellence have a vital role to play in the future of Scotland.”
Listen to the Best of Nicola Benedetti on Spotify.