Benedetti makes her critics face the music

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SHE is almost as renowned for her impeccable manners and composure as she is for her sublime musical talent.

But now, after years of biting her tongue, Nicola Benedetti has finally hit back at the critics who have caused her heartache.

The acclaimed violinist has aimed her bow at over-zealous reviewers who make sweeping assertions about her and urged them to "chill out".

The 21-year-old told Scotland on Sunday of her frustration and annoyance about how she has been treated by some music writers.

The former BBC Young Musician of the Year and Classical Brit Award winner said: "I just look at some reviews and think, 'Who do you think you are? Don't try to act like you know everything about me and everything about my playing and my entire potential for the future.

"'Just review the damn concert. Chill out, do your job and just tell people how you think I played that night.'"

Benedetti admitted that she had been left hurt by some particularly vituperative criticism.

"There were some articles that I got really upset about.

"It only takes you so many before you develop a coldness about reviews.

"For me it was like the flick of a switch, but it is difficult to avoid them. They don't take into account that I could have just walked off a flight that day and gone straight into a concert, which has happened."

The Ayrshire-born musician revealed she was her own toughest critic.

"The better I play the more I feel myself growing in confidence. But if I feel I haven't worked hard enough for a concert I sometimes feel I don't deserve to play really well.

"If I don't play really well I don't feel I deserve to be celebrated in any way.

"I am brutally honest and critical of myself in that way."

Despite immersing herself in classical music, Benedetti revealed she is a huge fan of Michael Jackson and is desperate to see his farewell performance in London.

She said: "I am determined to get a ticket, but now you can't get one for under 500. I really don't know what to do.

"I am a huge fan of everything he did when he was younger, but this farewell tour just seems to be a see-through attempt to make as much money as possible. That does annoy me."

The violin virtuoso also gave her verdict on modern music.

"There are some artists that are really, really special, but I don't like most commercial rap and R&B… I'd rather not listen to that."