This new venture by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Benedetti Foundation takes participants on a musical trip around the world

Benedetti Foundation

The Global Violin Sessions will take participants on an aural trip around the world

Following the Virtual Sessions in May this year, the Benedetti Foundation presents the Global Violin Sessions: A Cultural Exchange Part One. Running from 16 November to 13 December, the Sessions will take participants on the start of a trip around the world through the eyes of the violin.

Trumpeter, composer and educator Wynton Marsalis has written a short tune which will be played by Nicola Benedetti. It will then be passed round four countries over three weeks – America, Hungary, Finland and Serbia – from one ‘Virtuoso Violinist’ to another. Each violinist will make it their own, changing rhythms, twisting notes, rewriting corners, adding instrumentation, colours and effects. And along the way, they will teach the participants how they do it, the aim being to give them an insight into the musical traditions of each country. 


America – Week One

  • Tessa Lark – bluegrass tradition
  • Mark and Maggie O’Connor - American folk fiddle tradition


Hungary – Week Two

  • Roby Lakatos – classical, jazz and folk idioms of Hungary
  • Geza Hosszu-Legocky – Hungarian gypsy-Roma traditions and he will be joined by his award-winning group the Five-DeViLs


Finland & Serbia – Week Three

  • Pekka Kuusisto – inspired by the traditional music of Finland
  • Nemanja Radulovic – inspired by the Eastern European folk tradition


Over a four-week period, the leading violinists will teach the participants, through a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons, the nuances and techniques of their tradition. Participants will not only learn about how to play in their style, but also learn about why they sound the way they do and make the choices they make.

Nicola Benedetti commented, ‘Music has always shown us the similarities and diversities of the human story with nuance, clarity and accuracy. It gently but undeniably states a worldview that requires no rebuffing. There is space in the world for us all. There is space for our individualities and particulars and differences. We are all allowed to be who we are and have love and acceptance of that identity. But how often do we demonstrate acceptance, curiosity and openness towards the story and cultures of others? What happens if you take one tune and send it around the world? The Global Violin is about to start to find out and we can’t wait!’


Read: ‘Online learning has endless potential, but it will never replace getting together physically’ – Nicola Benedetti

Read: The fear of making mistakes stops violinists from playing with resonance and character – Nicola Benedetti

Read: The Benedetti Foundation releases Virtual Mini Sessions

Read: Benedetti Foundation launches the Virtual Benedetti Sessions


During the weekends from 21 November to 6 December, the Foundation will work live with participants of all ages and stages, and from all over the world, to prepare the repertoire. These weekends will be enhanced with pre-recorded tutorials made available throughout the week. Participants will be supported by short practice schedules which coincide with the release of the tutorials. Explore & Discover on Saturday offers the opportunity to Meet the Artists, take part in Q&A’s, learn about the violin traditions and performance sessions which are all open to anyone to sign up to. Prepare & Perform on Sunday is focused on violinists from beginners to advanced players and everything in between.

On the weekend of the 12 - 13 December, the Foundation will deliver a final weekend of activities, culminating in the premiere of a short film, bringing all the tunes together and taking participants on an aural journey around the world.


How to get involved

  • Sign up at here to join in
  • The Sessions will be free but with a recommended donation of £20 - 30 per person. Please give what you can, and no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.
  • All of the Foundation’s online work is made as accessible as possible, with many of its resources available to all free of charge.
  • The Benedetti Foundation relies solely on donations to carry out its work and we are very grateful to anyone who is in a position to make an additional donation towards the cost of the workshops.
  • Join in on social media using the hashtags #benedettisessions #globalviolin
  • The Global Violin Sessions will all be delivered in English.
  • The live Zoom sessions have a maximum capacity of 1000 participants in the session. We are able to accommodate 2000 young people per session within Zoom. These will be allocated to young people in order of sign up. Should there be more than 2000 participants, you will all be able to view via the private live stream.
  • Adult participants will be able to view all the live sessions via a private live stream