Gilded youth

The Scotsman, UK
May 2 2004

Gilded youth

by Kenneth Walton

Final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year


IN AN awe-inspiring showcase of prodigious young talent at the Usher
Hall yesterday, 16-year-old Ayrshire violinist Nicola Benedetti beat
off stiff competition to win the grand final of the 2004 BBC Young
Musician of the Year award.

All five finalists showed remarkable presence and confidence before a
2,000 capacity audience and prestigious panel of judges. And each one,
from the pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, 11, to the 17-year-old
percussionist Lucy Beeson, displayed complete professionalism in the
way they handled their concerto roles with the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra, under its principal conductor, Ilan Volkov.

It was, we were told, the youngest set of finalists in the
competition’s 26-year history. Highlighting that, the diminutive
Grosvenor gave a technically assured account of Ravel’s G major Piano
Concerto on a concert grand lent to him by the makers Bösendorfer,
specially adapted to accommodate his size. Grosvenor is scheduled to
appear next season, playing Mozart and Britten, in the Scottish
Ensemble’s High Flyers tour. Each of yesterday’s finalists chose
challenging, rather than predictable repertoire. Lucy Beeson’s
cool-headed performance of Joe Duddell’s percussion concerto Ruby
revealed music of immense beauty. Welsh 15-year-old Daniel de
Gruchy-Lambert chose the Armenian composer Alexander Arutiunian’s
excitable Trumpet Concerto to display his buoyant virtuosity. The
Manchester flautist Adam Walker produced exquisite variances of tone in
a bristling performance of Neilsen’s Flute Concerto.

But there was one clear winner. Nicola Benedetti’s performance of
Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto was utterly captivating. It was
technically outstanding, and the charisma and musicianship of her
performance was that of the accomplished artist we know her to be. This
was playing soaked in delicacy, subtlety and sheer virtuosity. Her star
is very much in the ascendent.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS