VIOLINIST Nicola Benedetti has said she is “very grateful” to be recognised in the New Year Honours List.
The Ayrshire-born musician, who is both a performer and an ambassador for classical music, is made a CBE for services to music.
The violinist is in demand with major orchestras across the globe, with concerto performances at the heart of her career, and is currently on tour in China with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
She is also a passionate supporter of music education and has been involved with many projects encouraging young people to take an interest in music.
Benedetti said: “I am very grateful to receive this honour and hope only to take this opportunity to further my fierce commitment to providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the education system and communities of the UK.
“I am more resolved than ever to challenge what it means to teach music well, and to reinforce my advocacy for arts and culture.
“Yes, we often hear about the positive unintended consequence of studying music, and the impact a more holistic education has on the development of a person’s character.
“But how about just considering the beauty of seeing and hearing people play or sing together, and offering something personal to an audience full of strangers?
“I have, enough times, witnessed the fulfilment, heightened emotion and sense of togetherness this collective action produces.
“It can shake us out of routine and remind us of a higher purpose, and it is a truly beautiful, wonderful thing.”
Benedetti began learning the violin at the age of four, and had completed all eight musical grades by the time she was nine.
The following year she went to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey and by the age of 11 had performed as a soloist at London’s Wigmore Hall.
She won the BBC Young Musician Of The Year title in 2004 when she was 16.
Her career has taken her around the world, and in the 2018/19 season she is collaborating with orchestras including the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Frankfurter Museumsorchester.
She holds named positions in several of the UK’s leading youth music organisations including the National Children’s Orchestra, Sistema Scotland, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, Music in Secondary Schools Trust and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The violinist was made an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours in recognition of her international music career and work with musical charities throughout the UK, and went on to be awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music 2016.