Nicola Benedetti to receive Edinburgh Award for festival director role

The 36-year-old will be presented with an engraved loving cup and have her handprints set in stone at the City Chambers.

Classical violinist Nicola Benedetti has been selected to receive the 2023 Edinburgh Award.

The award celebrates individuals who have made a unique contribution to the city and brought it to national and international attention.

Benedetti was chosen to receive the award this year for her role as festival director of the Edinburgh International Festival.

The 36-year-old will be presented with an engraved loving cup from the Lord Provost and have her handprints set in stone at the City Chambers later this year.

Previous recipients include bestselling authors, ground-breaking scientists, human rights activists and sports stars.

Benedetti said: “I am deeply honoured to receive the Edinburgh Award and humbled to join the incredible list of individuals who have contributed to the cultural fabric of this city.

“I am grateful to the city of Edinburgh for recognising the importance of the arts and their contribution to our way of life.

“As my journey with Edinburgh International Festival deepens, this award, as well as the support of the people of this city, strengthens my dedication to our mission: to continue to welcome people from all walks of life into our home, and to give them artistic experiences they will never forget. Thank you so much.”

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh and chair of the Edinburgh Award Panel, Robert Aldridge, said: “I’m delighted that Nicola Benedetti has accepted the decision of the panel and become the latest recipient of the Edinburgh Award.

“She deservedly follows in the footsteps of some of the finest individuals associated with our great city.

“From heading up one of the world’s most important cultural celebrations in the Edinburgh International Festival, to being a globally renowned musician in her own right, she has represented the capital with pride, dedication, and skill.

“Nicola is also one of the youngest ever recipients of the Edinburgh Award, which shows the measure and scale of her talent and achievements.

“I’d also highlight the fantastic work of the Benedetti Foundation, based in the city, which focusses on musical education, participation, and experiences.

“Since its establishment in 2019 it has reached over 50,000 participants of all ages from 103 countries.

“I’d like to congratulate Nicola on behalf of the city, and I’m sure she will continue to do great things in the future, both here in Edinburgh and beyond.”

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