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Nicola Benedetti MBE (born 19 July 1987 in West Kilbride in Ayrshire, Scotland) is a Scottish classical violinist. She started to learn the violin at the age of four. By the age of nine, she had already passed the eight grades of musical examinations, and in September 1997 began to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School for young musicians in rural Surrey. At the end of her first year, she played solo in the school's annual concert at Wigmore Hall, and performed in London and Paris as soloist in Bach's Concerto in D minor for two violins and orchestra. She played in a memorial concert at Westminster Abbey celebrating the life and work of Yehudi Menuhin. In the following year, Nicola performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Opera, amongst others. In 2002, she won Britain's Brilliant Prodigy Competition, broadcast nationwide by Carlton Television. She left the Menuhin School shortly after, and at the age of 15 began studying with Maciej Rakowski, former leader of the English Chamber Orchestra. You can hear samples of her music at her official website, www.nicolabenedetti.co.uk. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.