SCOTS musician Nicola Benedetti has revealed her favourite way of relaxing after a concert – with an ice-cold beer.
The 28-year-old violin virtuoso said she loves a beer after intense concerts and picked up the habit from a fellow musician.
Nicola, who made history as an eight-year-old by becoming the youngest person to lead the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, admitted she isn’t too fussy over what brand she uses to quench her thirst.
She said: “It’s a ritual I started a good few years ago inspired by a Ukranian piano player I trio with, Alexei Grynyuk.
“He loves his beer and after a full recital when you’ve been playing for a few hours, you’re hot and sticky and a beer is a very good feeling.
“I like Czech, German, Italian, Spanish, whatever tastes good after a concert really.”
Nicola, from West Kilbride, Ayrshire, practises for six hours a day. She once said that she has to stop practising by 10pm to avoid upsetting her neighbours.
She lives in West London with her boyfriend, German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, who she first met as a child at the elite Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, where she studied for five years.
She once said she has to stop practising by 10pm to avoid upsetting her neighbours.
Nicola also revealed her other passion for drinks is a love of coffee.
She added: “Being Italian I’m definitely a bit of a coffee obsessive.
“I’m very grumpy before I have a cup in the morning.
“It’s literally the first thing I’ll do.
“I live in a part of London where there are about 20 places to go and get one or else I’ll make my own - a triple espresso with a bit of milk.
“When I’m in a different time-zone I find that I cannot function without coffee.”
Nicola included her violin on a list of items she cannot live without.
She said: “The one I currently play is a Stradivarius that was made in 1717.
“It’s the thing in life that I spend the most time with and it has become incredibly personal.
“The attachment to something you spend hours with every day grows and grows.
“I’ve been playing since I was four and don’t remember life without it.”
As well as regularly touring the world she has released nine solo albums, three of which have topped the UK classical charts.