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Nicola Benedetti Honoured with Edinburgh Award: A Celebration of Musical Brilliance


The Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, alongside the internationally renowned classical violinist Nicola Benedetti CBE, received the esteemed Edinburgh Award from the Lord Provost, Robert Aldridge, during a formal gathering at the City Chambers yesterday evening, on December 5th.

Since 2007, the Edinburgh Award has celebrated individuals who have made a truly unique contribution to the city and brought the Capital to national and international attention.

Alongside family, friends and guests, Benedetti received an engraved Loving Cup from the Lord Provost, an official award certificate, and a set of her handprints preserved in stone in the City Chambers quadrangle was unveiled. As part of the ceremony, a specially commissioned poem by Hannah Lavery, the Edinburgh Makar, was recited in Benedetti’s honour.

This year marked Benedetti’s first edition of the International Festival as Festival Director, which was a resounding success. Over 24 packed days, the Edinburgh International Festival saw performances from 2,500 remarkable and diverse artists representing 50 nations.

Pic Greg Macvean 05/12/2023 Edinburgh Council – Nicola Benedetti is presented with The Edinburgh Award at a reception at The City Chambers

“I was delighted to present Nicola Benedetti with the Edinburgh Award yesterday evening. Nicola’s handprints are now immortalised in stone at the City Chambers quadrangle, and she deservedly follows in the footsteps of some of the finest individuals associated with our great city.

“From heading up one of the world’s most important cultural celebrations in the Edinburgh International Festival, to being a globally renowned musician in her own right, she has represented the Capital with pride, dedication, and skill. Nicola is also one of the youngest ever recipients of the Edinburgh Award which shows the measure and scale of her talent and achievements.

“I’d also highlight the fantastic work of the Benedetti Foundation, based in the city, which focusses on musical education, participation, and experiences. Since its establishment in 2019 it has reached over 50,000 participants of all ages from 103 countries,

“I’d like to congratulate Nicola on behalf of the city, and I’m sure she will continue to do great things in the future, both here in Edinburgh and beyond.”

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, and Chair of the Edinburgh Award Panel, Robert Aldridge

“Each gift in our life, such as the role of Festival Director or a recognition such as this award, serves as a propeller – and an opportunity for choice.

“Each gift holds the potential for responsibility to others, that you choose to serve and grasp, or not. Each gift is a reminder of our place in a lineage of contributors to bettering life for ourselves and for others; a reminder of the collective potential we have when we all consider – in our own unique way – our civic and moral duty.”

Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, and Recipient of the Edinburgh Award 2023, Nicola Benedetti CBE

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