Nicola makes chart history.
- First British violinist to break into UK Top 20 for nearly two decades
- First ever Scottish classical artist to break into UK Top 20
Today, Nicola Benedetti becomes the first solo British violinist since the 1990s to enter the Top 20 of the Official UK Albums Chart with her new record Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy, released this week on Decca Classics. She is also the first ever Scottish classical artist to enter the Top 20.
As well as landing the No. 1 spot in the classical chart, her album is simultaneously No. 19 in the pop chart, above Ellie Goulding, Arctic Monkeys and Jack White. It is the first time a solo British violinist has scored a top 20 album since Vanessa Mae in 1995 and Nigel Kennedy in 1989.
Remarkably, Nicola’s feat means Scottish Fantasy, a piece of classical music written in 1880 by the German romantic composer Max Bruch, now sits in the pop chart.
Nicola Benedetti says:
‘I am absolutely thrilled to have reached the top 20 with Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy, not something a classical artist ever expects. This is a deeply personal recording – inspired by Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy the project took me deep into the heart of Scottish culture. I am hugely grateful to each and every person for buying it and I hope the music, in all its diversity, is providing some uplift and pleasure.’
It has also been announced today that Nicola Benedetti will perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games along with other Scottish stars including Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle, Amy MacDonald and Julie Fowlis.
Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy is a unique combination of classical, folk and song traditions. The recording includes some of Scotland’s best loved songs such as Loch Lomond and My Love is Like a Red Red Rose some of Scotland’s most eminent folk musicians; Phil Cunningham, Julie Fowlis and Aly Bain. The album was recorded at locations including Glasgow City Halls and Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland.
Nicola’s new album is her highest-charting yet, following her 2013 release The Silver Violin which reached No. 32 in the Official Album Chart. This latest milestone comes 10 years since the Scottish-born musician won the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 16.
This achievement adds to her MBE in 2013 (for her extensive educational and charity work), eight honorary degrees, and being named in Britain’s Top 30: The Young Female Power List (The Times, Feb 2014) alongside the likes of Adele, Emma Watson and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.