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Violinist Nicola Benedetti and the most nominated female artist in the event's history has won the Female Artist award at the 2012 Classic BRITs.
Nicola Benedetti has been announced as the winner of the 2012 Classic BRIT Awards Female Artist of the year for her album Italia.
She managed to fend off stiff competition from the likes of Alison Balsom and Joyce DiDonato in the category, after becoming the most nominated female artist in the awards' history.
"I'd really like to dedicate this award to all the music teachers up and down the country," she said, in a heartfelt tribute. "Cutting funding to the arts is not the way to go," she added, describing it as a "huge underestimation" of the arts.
The award comes after a bumper year for Benedetti, whose most recent album The Silver Violin became a success in the classical and pop charts.