Violinist Nicola Benedetti achieved the double feat yesterday (July 13) of becoming the first Scottish classical musician to place an album in the UK top 20, and reaching her own new chart peak.
Her new Decca set ‘Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy’ debuted in the Official Charts Company survey at No. 19, beating the No. 32 peak of 2012’s ‘The Silver Violin.’ The news was an early birthday present for the West Kilbride-born Benedetti, who will turn 27 next Saturday (19th). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scotland accounted for a third of Nicola’s first-week sales, for a No. 7 debut there, and ‘Homecoming’ also entered the classical chart at No. 1.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have reached the top 20, not something a classical artist ever expects,” said Benedetti. “This is a deeply personal recording inspired by Bruce’s Scottish Fantasy. The project took me deep into the heart of Scottish culture. I hope the music, in all its diversity, is providing some uplift and pleasure.”
It’s also been announced that Nicola will perform at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Celtic Park, Glasgow on July 23, along with Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle, Amy Macdonald and Julie Fowlis. The ceremony will have a live audience of 40,000 and an estimated TV viewing figure of more than one billion.