Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists and most influential classical artists of today. Through her charitable organisation: The Benedetti Foundation, she expands her commitment to support young people’s music education across the UK. Earlier this year, Nicola Benedetti became an NYO Ambassador. We were excited to ask Nicola a few questions about working with NYO and what it was like being a teenager. You can read the full interview including her top tips to teenage musicians below.
Q: What does it mean to you to be working with NYO?
First and foremost, they are an astonishingly great orchestra with a rich history of incredible performances. We are performing Tchaikovsky violin concerto together, and I am deeply excited to explore all the possibilities available to us with such an explosive concerto. It will also be an incredible experience for me to join hands with them at one of the UK’s greatest institutions, the BBC Proms. I am a huge admirer of the NYO’s Inspire programme and look forward to working with them into the future, regarding their mission to open their doors to as many young musicians as possible
Q: What was being a teenager like for you?
I was playing professionally from a fairly young age, 14 or 15. I experienced many of the insecurities and anxieties young teenagers do, but in a fairly public environment. I was trying to improve my playing but came from a family environment that encouraged me to not pass up professional opportunities. If I could go back and change something, it would probably be to practise less and focus more on a rounder education. More practice isn’t always more. It’s about the what, not the how much.
Q: Do you have any advice for today's teenage musicians?
Throw yourself into the music and try your best to not waste time on worrying, or on self-consciousness.
Absorb - as many of the wider lessons available to you through playing historic music as humanly possible. Believe me, there are so many. Search for them and learn from them.
Be diligent - honour the privilege of playing with seriousness and perseverance.
Share - what you learn, give to those around you. Don’t be stingy with your knowledge or your abilities.
Photograph by © Andy Gotts.