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Available digitally worldwide from 24 January 2020

24 JANUARY (TORONTO, ON) - Nicola Benedetti and her Foundation Orchestra release their second single featuring Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances (Movements 4 – 6), digitally worldwide on Decca Classics. This follows the release of Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana at the beginning of January. The Benedetti Foundation is grateful to Decca for its support.

The work is one of the pieces the young people who attended the Foundation’s first workshops – The Benedetti Sessions – learnt and performed in Glasgow and London. The Foundation Orchestra represents every aspect of the music world including young players, amateur musicians, professional string teachers, college students, and all variations in between. The Foundation is committed to pulling these groups together, again and again throughout the year, to experience music making that shows no generational, professional or cultural boundaries.

The first workshops took place in Glasgow (3 – 6 January), London (10 – 12 January) and the next one is in Dundee (6 – 8 March). Across the three weekends, the Benedetti Foundation will reach just shy of 3,000 young people and 350 teachers, ranging from non-musicians, to beginner string players and the most promising young musicians. Participants attended from across the UK stretching from Shetland to the Isle of Wight. In Scotland there are young musicians from 30 of the 32 local authorities with 81% state educated in Glasgow and 70% state educated in Dundee. 30 of the 32 London boroughs are represented with 64% of participants state educated.

Each of The Benedetti Sessions caters for all playing abilities with workshops for Beginner String Orchestra; Intermediate String Orchestra and Advanced String Orchestra. There is also 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, ‘It was a beautiful and hugely revelatory experience, bringing together people from literally all walks of music-making life. We are victims of too many categories - young and old, professional and amateur, teachers and performers – but actually, the collective feeling and sound broke all stereotypes and allowed for one of the most positive, relaxing yet engaging musical environments I’ve experienced.’

Music is the art of all the things we can’t see or touch. It is feelings and thoughts, offerings of generosity, vulnerability and openness. It addresses us, communicates and passes invisible things from people creating sound to people receiving sound. It has the power to capture us, to make us feel many complex things. It can lift us high into optimism and accompany us during feelings of hurt and pain. The making of music can be described as healing, invigorating, exhausting and all-consuming. It brings millions together through the basic act of listening and thousands together through the act of making melody, rhythm and harmony in the practice and service of collective expression. This is what the Benedetti Foundation wants young people to experience and share.

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 strive to unite the world of music education through uncovering and sharing its best practices, and celebrating its greatest advocates. We will create explosive, life changing experiences around mass musical events for teachers and young people, that are dedicated to music participation on all levels, with timeless and profound music at their heart. Our ultimate destination is an empowered society that is more creative, enlightened and fulfilled. 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.