Tam's Tall Tales

- Nicola Benedetti - Ayrshire's Finest Violinist.

Nicola Benedetti at the Albert Hall London, via Wikimedia Commons

"Homecoming" CD - a Collection of Scottish themed music.

As I write, the tones from Nicola Benedetti's new CD, Homecoming - a Scottish Fantasy is wafting from Mrs Tam's CD player. This collection of classic Scottish themed music is just fabulous. Nicola takes centre stage but other artists are also featured.

The CD begins with Bruch's Scottish Fantasia and continues with a selection of familiar (and some unfamiliar) Scottish ballads such as "Ae Fond Kiss" and "My Love is Like a Red Red Rose" and "Auld Lang Syne" plus, of course, "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond".

Nicola played "Loch Lomond" at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and describes the experience as "one of the best moments of my life". She added that violinists don't usually have people "singing along" as they play. So to be in that stadium with 40,000 people singing Loch Lomond was a moment she will never forget.

Nicola was born in July 1987 in West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, to an Italian father and a Scottish mother. She started learning to play the violin at the age of four and became the leader of the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain when aged only eight. A year later she had already passed all eight grades of musical examinations and in September 1997 began to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School for young musicians under Lord Menuhin and Natasha Boyarskaya. She later played in a memorial concert at Westminster Abbey celebrating the life and work of Yehudi Menuhin.

Nicola won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2004 when she was 16. At the end of 2004, she agreed to a 1m six album recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Group Classics and Jazz and is now an international star. She is about to embark on a tour that will take in South Korea, Australia and the United States.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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