‘I can’t help having a different perspective’ - Violinist Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti_credit Craig Gibson

Ahead of Nicola Benedetti’s debut as director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Rebecca Franks speaks to her about her plans

Nicola Benedetti is tired. ‘Honestly, extremely tired right now.’ I’m not surprised. The Scottish superstar, 36, is talking to me straight after a rehearsal for Mark Simpson’s Violin Concerto, a vastly demanding piece written during the pandemic that bursts with emotion and virtuosity. ‘It’s just so full on,’ she says over the phone from Cologne, having barely had time to put away her violin. ‘It’s an exhausting work. But for all the right reasons. It’s so full of heart and soul.’ Yet giving the German premiere of this modern classic is par for the course for Benedetti, one of the world’s leading violinists, who gives everything to the music and causes she believes in. The real reason she’s feeling in need of rest is something else entirely: Benedetti has just launched her first season as director of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF)…

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