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World-class Nicola Benedetti performs at Redmaids' High

Violinist Nicola Benedetti performs at Redmaids High

“There is power in quality.” Coming from the mouth of world-acclaimed violinist Nicola Benedetti, one sits up and takes notice.

At 31, Nicola is one of the most sought-after and inspiring classical performers of her generation but, down-to-earth and warm in her approach, she addressed the whole school, sharing the values that have helped to place her at the top of her musical game.

Aged just four when she herself took up the violin, she had incredibly reached grade 8 by the age of eight. Now while continuing to perform all around the world, she devotes much of her time to music education and developing young talent.

Her visit also involved hosting a masterclass with four Redmaids’ High student performers - Lola, Minty, Sarah and Alice - which was attended by girls and boys from other Bristol schools.

Later, Nicola was joined by conductor Leonard Elschenbroich and the Bristol Ensemble for a public concert in Redland Hall, the Ensemble’s first as Redmaids’ High School’s Orchestra in Residence.

The programme, performed to a sell-out audience, included Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, followed after the interval by Beethoven's Symphony No 7.

Nicola shared some heartfelt views with our students on music, education and life. “Expression in music always comes from something inside you,” she said, “an expression of the soul.  It reflects our capacity for empathy, clarity, generosity.”

Regarding education, she said: “Learning should always develop who you are and should not just be about what you achieve. It's important to open your heart and mind to each experience available. Be questioning, curious and inventive to help expand your understanding and help you grow.”

She also offered humbling advice on life in general: “Be respectful - everyone you encounter will have a skill you don't have and so has something you can learn from. Share as much as you can and be as unselfish as possible - especially with your knowledge. Uplift others.”

Stephanie Harrison, Director of Music at Redmaids’ High, said: “Nicola’s very presence was an inspiration but her passion, poise and musical insight made this a truly unforgettable event.”

Date Posted: 15 October 2018
Arts Junior Senior Sixth Form

Articles for: Arts, Junior, Senior, Sixth Form

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