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12 October 2009, 00:00
Nicola Benedetti is to help and inspire Scottish children to study music. The 22-year-old Scottish violinist will make regular visits to the Big Noise orchestra in Raploch, Scotland, to teach and perform to the students.
The project was started by Sistema Scotland last year and already involves over 250 children of nursery and primary school age, including those with special educational needs. The first of its kind in the UK, it takes as its model the programmes of the highly successful Venezuelan scheme El Sistema, whose premier ensemble is the world-renowned Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra.
Like El Sistema’s projects, the Big Noise orchestra aims to encourage the social integration of children from deprived areas and to give them a better start in life, as well as bringing classical music to a wider audience. Benedetti is thrilled to be a part of a project which she describes as ‘demolishing barriers’.
The Big Noise orchestra is currently limited to strings, but plans to expand to a full symphony orchestra over the next couple of years.
Sistema Scotland’s chairman Richard Holloway is confident that Benedetti will inspire the young musicians by acting as their ‘musical big sister’. Benedetti rose to fame when she was made Young Musician of the Year in 2004.