December 2020: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Released
To close the year, over 1000 participants from 38 countries worked together on an arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, especially created for our sessions by the Ayoub Sisters. We were thrilled our recording premiered on Classic FM on Christmas Eve, followed by the music video release.
November 2020: Announcing Christmas with the Benedetti Foundation
String players of all ages and stages are invited to join us this December to prepare and perform together, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, in a unique arrangement by the Ayoub Sisters.
November 2020: Virtual Benedetti Sessions Wins RPS Inspiration Award
We were honoured to be awarded one of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Inspiration Awards for a project undertaken during lockdown and nominated by public vote. We are thrilled to have been recognised in this way and would like to thank all those who voted for our project. Congratulations also to our friends and colleagues, Elena Urioste and Tom Poster, who were also awarded an Inspiration Award for their incredible lockdown project #uripostejukebox
View our RPS award short film
November 2020: Winter Wellbeing
At the Benedetti Foundation, we know that music can provide solace, uplift and joy for people of all ages, but sometimes that’s not enough.
We are deeply committed to investing in the wellbeing of those around us and are honoured to be collaborating with Green Cross Training this Winter. We will be working together to spread the gift of wellbeing through a series of one-hour webinars to offer help to those needing mental health support and to promote healthier work and home environments.
The Benedetti Foundation is also proud to partner with Intermission – a programme established by violinists Elena Urioste and Melissa White dedicated to music, movement and mindfulness.
Throughout early December, the Benedetti Foundation will be delivering a series of wellbeing sessions for adults and young people involved in music with Nicola Benedetti, Rachel Cooper, Lee Holland and Elena Urioste to complement the training Green Cross Training provides.
November 2020: Global Violin Sessions: Wynton's Tune - Final Concert
Over the past three weeks, we have had the honour of working with Mark and Maggie O’Connor and Tessa Lark (United States of America), Geza Hosszu-Legocky and Roby Lakatos (Hungary), Pekka Kuusisto (Finland) and Nemanja Radulovic (Serbia) as we gained insight into the musical worlds of each tradition, told by the violin.
Our tune, written by the trumpeter, composer, educator, and Benedetti Foundation Trustee, Wynton Marsalis, had its first outing played by Nicola as ‘straight’ as possible. It was then passed round the world, from one violinist to another. Each violinist made it their own. They changed rhythms, twisted notes, rewrote corners, added instrumentation and colours and effects – and along the way, they taught our participants how they did it.
Just under 1100 violinists of all ages and stages took part from 54 countries.
The Global Violin Sessions culminated in a final performance film featuring the participants performances of the new arrangements of Wynton’s Tune.
October 2020: Global Violin Sessions Open for Registration
The Virtual Sessions are back! And this time we are taking you on a trip around the world through the eyes of The Violin.
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?
This Virtual Session is a tale of discovery, globalism and cultural exchange.
What happens if you take one tune.. and send it around the world? We’re about to find out.
October 2020: Benedetti Foundation Newsletter October 2020
July 2020: Benedetti Foundation Announces new Mini Sessions Series
We are delighted to share a new series of Mini Virtual Sessions to begin in July 2020. These Sessions are short, focused workshops designed to provide in-depth and detailed exploration on a wide variety of topics. There are practical sessions concentrating on technique, physicality and wellbeing, as well as discussion sessions and a focus on personal and professional development for students and teachers.
Full information and sessions open for registration can be found here
June 2020: After School Sessions Begin
Through June and July, join the Benedetti Foundation After School Sessions on Facebook Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-4.30pm BST. Guests include Wynton Marsalis, Mark Simpson, Jess Gillam and Tessa Lark. All live sessions will be hosted here to watch back afterwards:
May 2020: Virtual Sessions Celebration Concert
During these unprecedented times, we felt our young people and teaching communities desired inspiration, goals to work towards and a greater sense of togetherness. Born out of a response to Covid-19’s lockdown, the Virtual Sessions provided the opportunity to work with a wider range of people stripped of the ability to attend face-to-face activities. We set out to provide musicians of all ages and stages, and from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent, scheduled online tuition and inspiration, preparing collectively for a final weekend of activity celebrating the coming together of our global music community.
7,159 people joined the Virtual Sessions, aged 2-92, from 66 countries. In the UK, twe had participants from every local authority in Scotland, every county of England, every local council area in Northern Ireland and 18/22 counties in Wales. A team of 40 Tutors and Ambassadors worked on the Sessions and over the three weeks, we published over 300 videos, delivered 64 live Zoom sessions to approx. 1900 string players a week, 300 instrumental teachers and delivered over 30 live Sessions on Facebook and YouTube.
To close the Virtual Sessions, we invited the music loving world – extended families and all our friends across the world – to join us for a celebratory concert, premiering a compilation of videos which shared the story of the coming together of the music community through unprecedented times.
We provided a collective moment of not just music appreciation, but a sort of meditation and reflection of these unparalleled times – whilst, of course, celebrating the wonderful and collective achievement of musicians all over the world.
May 2020: Gethin Jones interviews Nicky and Steph Benedetti
In this exclusive interview, Gethin Jones chats with Nicky and her older sister, Steph
May 2020: Panel Discussion with Nicola Benedetti, Karen Cargill, Mary Beard and Dr Raj Persaud hosted by Lucy Drever
A discussion with Nicola Benedetti (violinist and founder & Artistic Director of the Benedetti Foundation), Mary Beard (classist & producer), Karen Cargill (world renowned mezzo-soprano) and Dr Raj Persaud (psychiatrist) hosted by presenter Lucy Drever.
They passionately discuss in depth topics such as culture during lockdown, creativity in music, the emotional connections of people to music, resilience and why, during a global pandemic, these Virtual Sessions became a reality.
April 2020: The Virtual Sessions are open for registration
The very first Virtual Benedetti Sessions will provide musicians of all ages and stages, and from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent, scheduled online tuition and inspiration, preparing collectively for a final weekend of activity celebrating the coming together of our global music community.
We will be working with school age children (string players, other instrumentalists & non-instrumentalists), conservatoire / university music students, instrumental teachers and amateur musicians and adult learners.
Click here to read all about the sessions and register to join in.
April 2020: Learn Salut d'amour with Nicky
As part of our ‘With Nicky’ series, Nicky recently taught Elgar’s Salut d’amour through daily YouTube tutorials. In teaching this beautiful piece, she explores topics including sound production, vibrato, how to choose fingering and bowing and storytelling and expression.
Whether you have played Salut d’amour before, or you’re brand new to this piece, it doesn’t matter – we invite you to head over to YouTube and learn with us
April 2020: Daily Live Lessons from Benedetti Foundation Tutors Begin
During these difficult times, the recreation of community and collectivity is urgently needed and there is no better way than through the arts and music.
The Benedetti Foundation has the most incredible team of tutors and ambassadors and during this period of isolation the Foundation Facebook goes live every day at 12pm BST with one of the tutor team. The session will then be hosted on IGTV, YouTube and the Benedetti Foundation Facebook page for anyone who was unable to watch live.
March 2020: Antrim and Saffron Walden Sessions Postponed
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are sorry to announce our Antrim and Saffron Walden Sessions will be rescheduled to 2021. Further information will follow in due course.
March 2020: Benedetti Sessions Dundee
The third 3-day Benedetti Sessions of 2020 took place in Caird Hall, Dundee from 6-8 March 2020. The weekend saw 345 young string players (including 40 young students on the General Musicianship workshop), 65 string teachers, 500 primary school children and a further group of 15 classroom teachers experience the spirit of optimism, enthusiasm and inspiration that is the Benedetti Sessions.
February 2020: Benedetti Sessions in Birmingham
The first one-day Benedetti Sessions took place in Birmingham Town Hall on 9th February in partnership with
Services of Education Music Service, Birmingham Town Hall and the Stringcredibles.
January 2020: Benedetti Sessions Launched in Glasgow and London
The first two Benedetti Sessions took place in January 2020 in Glasgow, in partnership with
RSNO, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Life and UNESCO City of Music and in London in
partnership with Southbank Centre.
They were a resounding success. Over 650 young string players from all backgrounds, ages and stages experienced the Benedetti Sessions weekend, with an additional 1400 primary school children participating in the primary schools workshop session. 150 string teachers joined the Sessions for a 2 day professional development weekend and 70 classroom teachers attended an afternoon workshop specifically designed for class teachers who are non-specialist musicians. The young people came from 30 out of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities and 30 out of the 32 London boroughs.
The Scotsman, 13th January 2020, Report by Ken Walton
January 2020: Benedetti Foundation Orchestra Releases Recordings with Decca Classics
The Benedetti Foundation Orchestra, made up of professional musicians, full time instrumental teachers, amateur musicians, students and young school age musicians came together in December to record two singles to be released on Decca Classics.
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (arr. Holt) and Bartok's Romaninan Folk Dances Mvts 4-6 (arr. Campbell) were released this month