The Benedetti Foundation Sessions
By Shreya Grover, Year 9
On the 11th and 12th January, the Benedetti Foundation organised workshops for string musicians of all ages and levels in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, at the Southbank Centre.
Of the 3 orchestras – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced – I took part in the advanced orchestra, and we played Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, as well as the 4th, 5th, and 6th movements of Bartok’s Romanian Dances with the younger orchestras.
In addition to playing our instruments, Kikuko and I learnt some useful breathing techniques, and that warming up before playing and warming down after playing are really important, and how to do this, as well as many more things. It was a wonderful experience to be playing with such beautiful pieces with such an amazing orchestra, and have suggestions and guidance from some professional musicians, who tutored the individual instrument sections that weekend. It was a massive privilege to have advice from Nicola Benedetti, as she is such an inspirational and incredible violinist, as well as being a lovely person. Furthermore, it was an enormous surprise when Sheku Kanneh-Mason walked onto the stage and played one of his pieces for everyone.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed the weekend and would love to do it again.