Nicola Benedetti: Tiny Desk Concert Watch the young violinist spin out music by John Williams and Bach in sweet and soulful tendrils of sound. Wielding a 1717 Gariel Strad worth $10 million, Benedetti performs with warmth and approachable grace that's simply enchanting.

Tiny Desk

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/180608832/180585143" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

You might never tell by her youth or her warm and approachable demeanor, but 26-year-old Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has already had an extraordinary career. Mentored by Yehudi Menuhin starting at age 10, Benedetti won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award a decade ago — and, really, that was just a warm-up.

Benedetti has since become an international performer of note: She's recently appeared as soloist with groups like the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, and she was given the huge honor of playing the last night of the Proms in London last summer. But Benedetti just might be best appreciated in an up-close-and-personal setting, whether she's performing or working with kids, which is one of her greatest passions; she's a proud "big sister" to El Sistema Scotland.

At this Tiny Desk Concert, though, she's simply radiant. Maybe that's partly due to her affable and gracious personality, or to her huge and sweet tone, enhanced by the 1717 Gariel Strad she plays. (It's worth some $10 million.) Or maybe it's the way she lets John Williams' theme from Schindler's List spin out in such aching fashion, or the way she makes room for silence in Bach's Chaconne before tearing deep into its dense warp and weft. In any case, she's enchanting.

Set List

  • Williams: Theme from 'Schindler's List'
  • Bach: Chaconne from the Partita for Solo Violin in D Minor

Credits

Producers: Stephen Thompson, Anastasia Tsioulcas; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; photo by Marie McGrory/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Karine Polwart Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 22, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Karine Polwart Trio

Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside, eschewing air travel to reduce her carbon footprint. But on a rare, recent visit, she stopped in D.C. for a Tiny Desk.

Georgia Anne Muldrow performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 26, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Georgia Anne Muldrow

The R&B singer from Los Angeles is all about showing and spreading love.

Courtney Marie Andrews performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 2, 2019 (NPR). NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Courtney Marie Andrews

It was a day when sunlight drenched the office and the songs of heart from Courtney Marie Andrews felt right at home.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Andrea Cruz performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 4, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Andrea Cruz

The singer from Puerto Rico is part of a movement on the island that emphasizes largely acoustic instruments and a folk-based approach to interpreting life before and after the hurricane of 2017.

&More performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 4, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

&More (Chill Moody & Donn T)

Philadelphia Rapper Chill Moody and singer Donn T, along with their crew known as &More, were one of the standout entrants in last year's Tiny Desk Contest. They bring a message of hope and love.

Back To Top