World-class violinist Nicola Benedetti performs at Redmaids' High School

October 26 2018
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Redmaids’ High School is fast becoming a key venue for music lovers.

Not only has it recently hosted a sell-out concert for 500 people to see world-acclaimed violinist Nicola Benedetti in its own Redland Hall, it also now has its own ‘Orchestra in Residence’ in the shape of the popular Bristol Ensemble.

The performance on 11 October saw Benedetti play alongside conductor Leonard Elschenbroich, as part of her second trip to Bristol in just over a month having starred at the opening of the new extension at St George’s Bristol.

During her visit to Redmaids’ High, organised by the school’s flourishing Music Department, she held a masterclass for a group of its most talented violinists which was also attended by girls and boys from nearby visiting junior schools.

At 31, Nicola is one of the most sought-after classical performers of her generation but, down-to-earth and warm in her approach, she addressed the whole school, sharing the values that have helped to place her at the top of her musical game.

Aged just four when she herself took up the violin, incredibly she had reached grade 8 by the age of eight. Now, while continuing to perform all around the world, she devotes much of her time to music education and developing young talent.

Minty, a grade 8 violinist at Redmaids' High, said: “I am passionate about the violin and work hard to improve with the help of my school teachers. To play for Nicola and receive her critique was so inspiring.”

Nicola shared some heartfelt views with the students on music. “Expression in music always comes from something inside you,” she said, “an expression of the soul. It reflects our capacity for empathy, clarity, generosity.”

She also encouraged them in their general education, saying: “Learning should always develop who you are and should not just be about what you achieve. Be questioning, curious and inventive to help expand your understanding and help you grow.”

Stephanie Harrison, Director of Music at Redmaids’ High, said: “Nicola’s very presence was an inspiration but her passion, poise and musical insight made this a truly unforgettable and uplifting event for everyone.”

Mrs Harrison continued: “Thanks to our new partnership with the Bristol Ensemble, we can look forward to many more exciting, public musical events in our hall.”

For information about future public concerts and performances at Redmaids’ High, email music@redmaidshigh.co.uk