The Benedetti Foundation is launched today

The Benedetti Foundation is launched today

Nicola Benedetti announces the launch of The Benedetti Foundation
(Photo credit: Andy Gotts)

For Immediate Release

September 4, 2019

Applications are now open for the first Benedetti Sessions in 2020

The Benedetti Sessions 2020
Glasgow Sessions: 3 – 6 January 2020
• Venue: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and RSNO Centre
• In partnership with: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, UNESCO City of Music and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
• Applications: NOW OPEN and will close on 18 September 2019

London Sessions: 10 – 12 January 2020
• Venue: Southbank Centre
• In partnership with: Southbank Centre
• Applications: NOW OPEN and will close on 18 September 2019

Dundee Sessions: 6 – 8 March 2020
• Venue: Caird Hall
• In partnership with: Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Caird Hall, and generously supported by Leisure & Culture Dundee
• Applications: NOW OPEN and close on 18 September 2019

Northern Ireland Sessions: 1 – 3 May 2020
• Venue: Education Authority Antrim Board Centre
• In partnership with: Education Authority Music Service
• Applications: open in early November 2019

Manchester Sessions: 11 – 13 September 2020
• Venue: Manchester
• In partnership with: The Hallé
• Applications open in early May 2020

Saffron Walden Sessions: 18 – 20 September 2020
• Venue: Saffron Hall
• In partnership with: Saffron Hall
• Applications open in early May 2020

Violinist Nicola Benedetti is one of the world’s leading advocates for quality music education, the role of arts and culture in the wider community and the transformational effect it has on all young people. She has been committed to education projects since the age of 15 and in the past 12 months, Nicola has worked with over 2,000 students and 500 teachers.

The Benedetti Foundation will provide variation, inspiration and enrichment to the UK’s education networks and communities. The Benedetti Foundation is fiercely devoted towards pulling together individuals and organisations that too often work in isolation. It will also produce a signature series of orchestra-based weekend workshops — The Benedetti Sessions — to address, equally, the needs of young musicians and of teachers.

The first Benedetti Sessions will take place in Glasgow from 3 – 6 January 2020. Throughout the first year there will be a total of six Benedetti Sessions in London, Dundee, Northern Ireland, Manchester and Saffron Walden, plus many more singular events and day sessions throughout the year and across the world.

Each of The Benedetti Sessions will follow the same format and will cater for all playing abilities with courses for Beginner String Orchestra (pre-grade 1 to grade 3); Intermediate String Orchestra (grade 4 – 6) and Advanced String Orchestra (grade 7+). There will also be a General Musicianship morning for beginners; String Teachers Professional Development Weekend for instrumental string teachers; Primary Classroom Teachers Professional Development Workshop for non-specialist primary classroom teachers and a Primary Schools Workshop Session introducing pupils to the fundamentals of music.

Nicola Benedetti commented, ‘I have loved music and the violin since I was 4 years old. Nothing could stop me from wanting to play, but each time I encountered a mass-collective musical experience it deepened and strengthened my enjoyment and commitment to music. There are no limits to our learning possibilities through music. We just have to be curious and open-minded enough to notice that this language is as rich as life itself, and this is what we aspire to expose young people to through the Benedetti Sessions. In order to provide the highest possible standard of teaching, inspiration and guidance throughout the weekends, we have engaged the most phenomenal group of tutors. Each and every one of these musicians are not only extraordinary instrumentalists and teachers, but are also the most wonderful, uplifting, joyous yet serious individuals. We can’t wait to get started.’

Tutors are drawn from across the UK’s conservatoires, orchestras and educational institutions and a full list can be seen at

How to apply
Full details can be found at and the closing date for Glasgow, London and Dundee is 18 September 2019.

Images of Nicola can be downloaded here.

For general enquiries about or to pledge financial support to the Foundation, please contact:
Michael Garvey, Executive Director, The Benedetti Foundation
Tel: 07834 757190 |

For further press information please contact:
Rebecca Driver Media Relations

Tel: 020 3691 7034 | Email:

Notes to Editors
Beginners String Orchestra: pre-grade 1 – 3 (Saturday from 9am – 5.30pm)
• The course will focus on the basics, the joy of playing, learn to tell stories with the body mind and soul, work on physical freedom when playing, learn to determine the story the music tells and how to express it collectively and to consider sound.
• Repertoire will be Folk Music from the UK and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances Nos 4, 5 & 6
• The Beginners Orchestra will work with conductor Joelle Broad (Glasgow/Dundee) and Lucy Maguire
• Recommended ages: 7 – 11

Intermediate String Orchestra: grade 4 – 6 (Saturday from 9am – 5.30pm & Sunday 9.30am – 5.15pm)
• A series of workshops and full string orchestra rehearsals over the two days covering technical, creative and improvisatory aspects of music making as well as collective listening and collaborative ensemble playing.
• The sessions will be on Repertoire will be Warlock’s Capriol Suite Movement 1; Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances Nos 4, 5 & 6
• The Intermediate Orchestra will work with conductor Alex Laing.
• Recommended ages: 7 – 13

Advanced String Orchestra: grade 7+ (Saturday from 9am – 5.30pm & Sunday 9.30am – 5.15pm)
• A series of workshops and full string orchestra rehearsals over the two days covering technical, creative and improvisatory aspects of music making as well as collective listening and collaborative ensemble playing.
• Repertoire will be Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances Nos 4, 5 & 6
• The Advanced Sting Orchestra will work with conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa
• Recommended ages: 12 – 17

General musicianship (Saturday 9am – 12.15pm)
• The General Musicianship morning is for beginner level players of any instrument, or those who play no instruments at all.
• The session will focus on the fundamentals of music: singing, dancing, percussive playing, improvisation and movement and will provide ideas of how to can use music in your life, be a better listener who is more engaged, more discerning and more curious. With pulse, rhythm, pitch and harmony at the root of this workshop, this morning will be an engaging introduction to music.
• Recommended ages: 7 – 11

String Teachers Professional development weekend (Saturday 9am – 5.30pm & Sunday 9.30am – 5.15pm)
• A 2-day continuous professional development (CPD) weekend for string instrumental teachers.
• Aimed at any teachers ranging from whole class, small groups, individuals, working for a charity, a music service or local authority, a junior conservatoire or teaching privately, this weekend will ultimately aim to build a new sense of community where teachers from all backgrounds come together to inspire and motivate, to engage and share and to learn and develop from the best educators and teachers around.

Primary Classroom Teachers Professional Development Workshop (Glasgow: Monday 6 January 12.30 – 3.30pm. All other sessions: Friday 12.30 – 3.30pm)
• An afternoon designed specifically for general primary classroom teachers. This workshop is ideal for classroom teachers, TAs, PPA cover teachers and anyone responsible for the delivery of classroom music lessons in primary schools who have no specialist or formal music training.
• This course will support confidence in delivering the fundamentals of music including pulse, rhythm, pitch and harmony. It will offer practical ideas and suggestions to help teachers feel comfortable with teaching music as well as assisting with lesson planning and linking to the curriculum.

Primary Schools Workshop Session (two sessions on Friday afternoon; Glasgow Monday 6 January)
• An inspiring and engaging school’s performance led by a team of general musicianship specialists will introduce pupils to the fundamentals of making music covering the basics of pulse, rhythm, pitch and harmony.
• Pupils will be encouraged to consider how music is used in their lives, how we can listen differently and in turn become more engaged, discerning and curious about music.
• If your school or your class is interested in attending the school workshops, please contact us via the contact page. Schools will also be invited via their local authority music service or music hubs.
• On each weekend this will take place in 2 sessions on the Friday afternoon, except Glasgow where this takes place on Monday 6th January.

About The Benedetti Foundation
The Benedetti Foundation will focus on providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the UK’s education system and communities and will carry out a series of orchestra-based weekend workshops — the Benedetti Sessions — designed to address, in equal part, the needs of young musicians and of teachers. The Benedetti Foundation will work with young people on building discipline, professionalism, concentration and perseverance as well as addressing the deeply important emotional, social, internal and psychological challenges young people face, through the act of conscientious music making and collective activity. 50% of the activity carried out by the organisation will be for teachers. Teaching music well is an enormous responsibility and is hugely challenging. The Benedetti Foundation is fiercely committed to providing meaningful support, extensive information and a sense of uplift, inspiration and respite to as many teachers as possible as well as to promoting music education practices which encourage both musical and civic betterment. The Benedetti Foundation receives no government money and is currently funded entirely through generous philanthropy.

About Nicola Benedetti
Over the last 12 months Nicola has continued her role as a dedicated, passionate ambassador and leader in music education:
➢ Nicola has reached over 2,000 young people through workshops, masterclasses, partnership projects, and school visits.
➢ Nicola has also connected with over 500 teachers, providing support in the face of mounting pressures, and encouraging best practice.
➢ This commitment to supporting music practitioners was underlined in July 2018, when Nicola took over as President of the European String Teachers Association.
➢ Nicola has contributed to campaigns to save and preserve music services across the country
➢ She holds named positions in several of the UK’s most established and high-quality youth music organisations including the National Children’s Orchestras, Sistema Scotland, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, Music in Secondary Schools Trust, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and many more.
➢ As ‘Big Sister’ to Sistema Scotland, Nicola led Super String Sessions in autumn 2018, celebrating the organisation’s 10th anniversary by bringing together 500 young people from a diverse range of learning backgrounds including through Sistema Scotland, Local Authorities and private tuition.
➢ Fiercely committed to music education and to developing young talent, Nicola has formed associations with schools, music colleges and local authorities.
➢ She is credited with broadening the appeal of classical music to young and new audiences through her extensive education work and appearances at events such as the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony and iTunes Festival.
➢ Nicola was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest ever recipient, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours, in recognition of her services to music.
➢ Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.
➢ She is in much demand with major orchestras and conductors across the globe and this continues across the 2019-20 season with concerts throughout the UK, Europe and America.
➢ Nicola Benedetti is on the Southbank Centre Board of Governors.