It's okay to be glamorous

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has a best-selling album on the British pop charts, so it comes as no surprise that she approves of a bit of populism to get the message across that classical music can be fun.

She does, though, draw the line at marketing herself as the "classical babe" that the British tabloids thought was a good niche for her when she first exploded onto the British music scene as BBC Young Musician of the Year a decade ago.

It is not that the Scottish-born violinist of Italian heritage opposes product endorsements, and she knows that with her career progressing by leaps and bounds she could have plenty of them, but she thinks they can get in the way of the music. "It's difficult and I don't really know how I feel about that," she said, talking about endorsements after performing Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Manchester Camerata chamber orchestra in this English Midlands city last Friday.

"But you always have to ask yourself, 'Is your main goal to be as good a musician as possible, and for as many people as possible?' Then you'll enter into the means that get you to more people, and that seems to be a fairly natural progression."

She certainly enchanted a packed audience at The Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford, and won rave reviews when she and the Manchester Camerata, under Hungarian conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy, repeated the same programme last Saturday in Manchester. "Obviously she's a brilliant violinist," Takacs-Nagy, also a noted violinist, said after conducting with Benedetti as soloist. "She is a very spontaneous player who is improvising - it is quite close to how I imagine music-making."

With her Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy the first classical album to make the top 20 in Britain's pop charts for almost two decades, Benedetti might be thought to be cruising all the way to the bank.

Winning the BBC competition a decade ago playing Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto led to what was widely reported to be a £1 millionrecording contract with Deutsche Grammophon - at the age of 16.

"I never did," Benedetti said of the contract she purportedly signed, noting that the fiction has been perpetuated because "the appropriate people are quite happy to allow it".

Nor was everything else back then quite as rosy as it looked. Playing 100 concerts a year, she felt like she was losing control of her career until she had an encounter with childhood friend and fellow violinist Alina Ibragimova, who "could sort of see that I was getting further away from myself".

Then, "I just tried to cut down on how much I was doing, I started with a new teacher, various things like that", she said.

Back on track, and pleased with her progress, Benedetti said she now wants to connect with as wide an audience as possible.

The 26-year-old still performs the demanding Szymanowski concerto, to ecstatic reviews recently in New York, but also played alongside pop stars Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

On Sunday, she will perform what she said is mostly pop at the iTunes Festival in London.

Nor does she think classical musicians should be held above the fray when it comes to media discussion of foibles and looks. "One thing I do not adhere to is that classical musicians should somehow be above that kind of whatever you call it - discrimination, judgment... I just think we're people like the rest of them and the rest of the world is subjected to those things all the time and why not us?"

Also, if a bit of glamour and populism can sell records and make more young people interested in music, it is well worth it. "I'm... very concerned with social structures and often political affairs and education systems, I am hugely consumed by concern over those things," she said.

"Music not being used for anything is entirely worthy by itself, you don't need music to get people together. But the fact is that it can be used for that and if you have a sort of dual appreciation of music for the sake of music and what powers music can hold... it's just a natural path for me."

 
Others
 
- Don't call her an angry black woman
- US universities pay big bucks for stars
- Gwen Stefani on Her Love for Getting Dressed & Bright New Collection
- J.Lo's booty steals the show
- Darkness in Tove Lo's gritty tunes
- The Maze Runner sprints to the top
- Rocky start for Lauryn Hill's comeback
- New TV series concept based on Hillary Clinton
- White House enlists celebs to end sexual assault
- 'Caveman' lifestyle gains popularity
 
 
 
Youtube channel
Top Search
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- What Is Placenta Calcification
- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- Do Not Miss Sugarcane Juice In Pregnancy
 
Top 10
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 3) - DHA supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 2) - Docosahexaenoic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 1) - The science bit, Alpha linolenic acid
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
 
 
 
Recipes
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 17) - Caramelized Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini, and Onions
- Chocolate Covered Naartjies - Cauliflower Carpaccio With Watercress And Almond Dressing - Avocado Mousse Topped With Cauliflower And Bacon Crumbs (part 2)
- RECIPE Orange Cointreau jellies : Golden dessert to beat the glut
- BBQ Chicken Around The World (Part 2) - Beer can chicken
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Vegan Breakfasts (part 8) - Vegan Crepes, Tofu Florentine, Quick Hollandaise Sauc uick Hollandaise Sauce, Potato Poblano Breakfast Burritos
- Midweek Meals - These Dishes Promise Smooth Sailing (Part 2) - Lemon and thyme lamb with warm pumpkin salad
- Grill Happy Healthy Family Dinners (Part 5) - Pork and plum skewers
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Soups and Stews (part 4) - Ten-Minute Cheater’s Chili, Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup , Cold Spanish Gazpacho with Avocado
- Winter Favourites New Ideas Cooking (Part 2) - Mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin
- Celebrate Christmas Soon In July (part 2) - Roast pumpkin, fennel & brussels sprouts
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Desserts (part 6) - Foolproof Vegan Fudge, Cocoa-Nut-Coconut No-Bake Cookies , Cheater’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 1) - Monday - Spinach & Sausage Penne
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 5) - Friday - Rendang Beef Noodles
- Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 2) - Beetroot & shallot tatins
- Get To Know Your Salad (part 2) - Greens & Berry Salad