Benedetti set to scale back concerts after teaching thousands online in lockdown

Scottish violin sensation Nicola Benedetti has revealed she is set to cut back her gruelling worldwide touring schedule in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nicola Benedetti normally performs in around 100 concerts every year. Picture: Andy Gotts
Nicola Benedetti normally performs in around 100 concerts every year. Picture: Andy Gotts

The Ayrshire musician says she is rethinking “the constant need to be travelling all the time” after having to spend two months behind closed doors at her home in London.

Benedetti says she may rethink her schedule dramatically in future as a series of free online classes and workshops she has masterminded over the past three weeks reached more than half a million people.

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Benedetti, 32, who has been on tour almost continually since she was 16, suggested she may reduce her number of concerts by between a third and a half after easily adjusting to being at home for an extended period.

She insisted she was not “desperate” to return to the live arena and did not believe in “sitting around and constantly lusting after something that you can’t do”.

Benedetti, a long-time advocate of music education, launched her own foundation last year to step up the number of workshops and masterclasses she is involved with, and also branched out into online classes.

When the music industry went into lockdown, she began planning a three-week programme of tutorials, workshops and talks for musicians and teachers of all ages.

More than 7,000 people from 66 countries signed up to take part directly in Zoom sessions, while the overall audience for the 200 videos posted on social media has topped 670,000.

The Virtual Benedetti Sessions will culimate today with a celebration concert which will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube at 4pm.

Benedetti said the numbers the project had reached had “completely surpassed” all of her expectations and led to a lot of reflection about how much work could be done on virtual platforms in the post-lockdown world.

She said: “Everybody is addressing the potential functionality of what you are able to do from home and how much artistic output you’re able to achieve from your bedroom.

“The constant need to be travelling all the time is something I’m re-addressing. It’s just a case of finding a balance. Would anybody really mind if I did a month’s less concerts in a year?

“Nobody is going to really care. I’d still be doing a huge number. I’ve been averaging more than 100 concerts a year. That’s more than a lot of people do if they are playing solo concertos. To do 50 concerts or 70 concerts would be plenty.

“I’m going to be hugely active with my foundation and I would never want to not be performing. I’m not desperate to be back doing that because I’m so consumed in what I’m doing at the moment.

“I don’t believe in sitting around and constantly lusting after something that you can’t do in that moment.

“It’s not a good use of energy. We should make the most of what we have now. When we have the chance to be able to perform for people again I’ll be raring to go.”

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