The violinist’s new appointment as St. Louis Symphony Orchestra artist-in-residence will include the first Benedetti Session Stateside, alongside performances and outreach work

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Nicola Benedetti has been named as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s artist-in-residence for the 2020/2021 season. She will join the SLSO in two programmes, performing Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto on 2 and 3 October 2020, and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto no.2 on 5 and 6 February 2021. Other residency activities will see the violinist present the first Benedetti Session in the US, a workshop designed to meet the needs of young string players and their teachers.

The role has been created by the SLSO’s incoming music director Stéphane Denève, who joined the orchestra in September 2019. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is artist-in-residence for the current 2019/2020 season.

During her tenure Benedetti will give seven or eight performances with the SLSO, including two on tour, and take part in the orchestra’s collaborative series with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. She will also engage with the SLSO’s youth orchestra and young musicians from the greater St. Louis area.

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Erik Finley, the SLSO’s vice president and general manager, said: ‘This new role offers a unique, immersive and multi-faceted snapshot of an artist for audience and the orchestra within a single season. In a sense, the artist becomes part of our artistic extended family.

‘We focus on an artist’s personal priorities and commitments in their work beyond orchestral collaborations, to truly capture what they uniquely have to offer our own community and audiences, both on and off stage. This may entail community outreach, educational initiatives, chamber music with our musicians, recital programs, or collaborations with other local arts organisations. We also aim to plan concerts outside of St. Louis.

‘There’s a wonderful openness and welcoming atmosphere here to new collaborators, new works and new artistic endeavors,’ Finley continued. ‘These new ideas and relationships help the orchestra grow and better serve our audiences. We pride ourselves on being an ensemble that is flexible, responsive and a generous collaborator to soloists, and we hope Nicky will sense this. After a single season with Nicky, our audiences will have experienced a depth of collaboration that usually takes years to unfold. It’s our hope that after next season, our audiences, orchestra and Nicky will already feel like old friends.’