Scottish Ensemble with Nicola Benedetti were playing to a packed Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh tonight with a programme that allowed Scottish Ensemble to incorporate Nicola Benedetti’s passion for Vivaldi and Italian Baroque music into their performance repertoire.
Our opening music from Scottish Ensemble alone was Ancient Airs and Dances By Ottorino Respighi with music after the interval continuing the Italian theme of the evening – Italian Serenade by Hugo Wolf and Souvenir de Florence by Tchaikovsky.
In between this music before the interval, Nicola Benedetti delighted audiences with some of her favourite Vivaldi music, and with contrasting concertos in D Minor and D Major, displaying so obviously why she is one of the most in demand musicians of her generation. Also shining through the whole performance was Nicola’s obvious love of the music that she was playing and her ease with not only the members of Scottish Ensemble but the audience. Being musically gifted is just not enough to be a world class soloist, the audiences have to like you too, and Nicola Benedetti has both attributes in abundance.
Throughout the evening both on their own and with Nicola on stage, the members of Scottish Ensemble were in great form providing a delighted audience with beautiful music.
It was also nice to hear the sound of a harpsichord (played by Tom Foster) as I have a great fondness for the sound of that instrument, and I have to admit to not having heard before the sound of the theorbo that Ryaan Ahmed was playing. Hearing some of the wonderful music of Vivaldi is of course always a bonus.
This was also a bit of a nostalgic show for Nicola as it saw a return to her professional debut when she joined the Scottish Ensemble on stage at The Queen’s Hall at 16 years of age. Apart from providing wonderful music to people, giving emerging talent this type of platform is another reason why groups like Scottish Ensemble and venues like The Queen’s Hall are so important and need all of our support to flourish and continue their work.
To find out more about Scottish Ensemble, visit their website at
Nicola Benedetti of course has her own website where you can catch up with her busy schedule at
Review by Tom King