Nicola Benedetti's Brum takeover

Nb Crop Nicola Bendetti C Andy Gotts

Grammy award-winning violinist, Nicola Benedetti comes to Birmingham this February for two concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), a masterclass at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and a day of Benedetti Sessions at Town Hall Birmingham in partnership with Services For Education Music Service, showcasing the breadth of this unique artist as violinist and educator. Benedetti returns in April with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at Symphony Hall Birmingham where she is Artist in Residence in 2020.  

Nicola, who won best classical instrumental solo award at the 2020 Grammys for her performance of Wynton Marsalis's Violin Concerto and Fiddle Dance Suite, is one of the world’s leading advocates for quality music education and she has worked with more than 4,000 students and 700 teachers.


City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra: Thursday 6 February, 2:15pm & Saturday 8 February, 7pm, Birmingham Symphony Hall

The CBSO and conductor Klaus Mäkelä are joined by Nicola Benedetti for an energetic concert showcasing Tchaikovsky’s much-loved Violin Concerto alongside Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, a flamboyant, no-holds-barred adventure into the wildest extremes of the romantic imagination. 

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is the quintessential virtuosic and romantic display. It’s a feat of stamina, it’s open hearted melodically and harmonically, it has all the hallmarks of Tchaikovsky’s relentless repetitiveness and nothing else has been written that comes close. I can’t wait to perform this wild work with the CBSO and Klaus Mäkelä.

Nicola Benedetti

There will be a special pre-concert showcase from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra on Thursday 6 February (1pm), in which wind, brass and percussion musicians will play Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum under the baton of Principal Guest Conductor Michael Seal.

Nicola will also be interviewed by the CBSO’s Youth Ambassadors following the concert on Saturday 8 February. This innovative programme offers the opportunity for a group of young people aged between 16 and 21 to explore behind the scenes of the CBSO and share their perspectives on the future of classical music.


Masterclass at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire: 6 February, 6:30pm

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire welcomes Nicola Benedetti to give a violin masterclass, sharing their trailblazing passion for music education, carrying the torch for classical music in the 21st century. The masterclass is open to the public; tickets are £5 and can be purchased online.

All of us at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire are delighted to welcome Nicola Benedetti for her first visit to our state-of-the art conservatoire. I have long admired Nicky not only for her supreme talent but also for her massive commitment to the musicians of the future which completely tallies with RBC’s vision which we are delighted to share with our valued partners at the CBSO.

Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Benedetti Sessions at Town Hall Birmingham in partnership with Services For Education: 9 February

The first Benedetti Sessions took place over three days in both Glasgow and London at the beginning of January and catered for all string playing abilities with workshops for Beginner String Orchestra; Intermediate String Orchestra and Advanced String Orchestra, as well as offering general musicianship for beginners, a series of workshops for string teachers and non-specialist primary classroom teachers. On 9 February the Benedetti Foundation presents a one-day format of the Benedetti Sessions for the first time, delivered in partnership with Services For Education Music Service and Town Hall Symphony Hall. 

The day will focus on intermediate string players with 100 young people aged 9 – 13 years old, all from Birmingham. The young musicians will experience warm up sessions, general musicianship and full string orchestra rehearsals covering technical and creative aspects of music-making, as well as collective listening and collaborative ensemble playing. As with the three-day Benedetti Sessions, the Intermediate Orchestra will be conducted by Alex Laing and will work on Warlock’s Capriol Suite Movement 1 and Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana. The full 3-day Benedetti Sessions will be coming to the West Midlands in 2021. 

Nicola Benedetti is one of the world’s leading advocates for quality music education, the role of arts and culture in the wider community and the transformational effect it has on all young people. She has been committed to education projects since the age of 15 and in the past 12 months, Nicola has worked with over 4,000 students and 700 teachers. 


Sakari Oramo & Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra – Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2: Sat 25 April

After Sakari Oramo left Birmingham in 2008, he went to Sweden – and gave the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic a taste of the energy and freshness he brought to the CBSO. This is the first Birmingham appearance since 1991 for this Scandinavian orchestra, featuring Benedetti playing Prokofiev’s zingy Second Concerto as well as Victoria Borisova-Ollas and Sibelius’s symphonic blockbuster.