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Violinist Benedetti's 'tough time'

Violinist N icola Benedetti has described the "tough time" she went through after winning the BBC Young Musician Of The Year award aged 16.

She told Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young she struggled with the amount of gigs she had to play and described feeling that there was a " sort of machine counting on me to keep going".

Appearing on today's episode of the long-running Radio 4 show, the 26-year-old from West Kilbride, Scotland, said her life changed after she won the prestigious classical competition.

She said: "T he Young Musician of the Year final happened and I think the next day my picture was on the front of The Times and a practically full concert diary materialised within a very, very short space of time so by the age of 17, 18, I was going through a very tough time."

Benedetti estimated that one year she performed 110 times which she said was "far too much" and that it l ed to her going on stage "underprepared" and "nervous".

She said she was "disappointed" she had not been helped by people around her, saying: " I think I did feel that some of that support wasn't necessarily there within the profession, it's extremely cut-throat.

"It was a very difficult moment because I had released my second or maybe third album, I had a sort of machine counting on me to keep going in order for this whole thing to keep working."

Benedetti, who was made an MBE last year, said she had not been "overly troubled" by pressure to assume a more glamorous image like some of her fellow musicians.

She said: "There are definitely requests for photo shoots that come in that they don't even make their way to me any more because they know there's no discussion, there's not even a point in asking me because I won't be interested."

Benedetti, one of the brightest young stars in the classical world, has released a series of acclaimed recordings since landing a record deal at the age of 17, as well as thrilling audiences with her work as a soloist and as part of a chamber trio.

She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey and by the age of 11 had performed as a soloist at London's Wigmore Hall.


From Belfast Telegraph