There have been a couple of articles on this site recently mentioning world famous musicians who have a Barga background - Paolo Nutini, Rachel Sermanni and Nicola Benedetti.
It would seem that there are still some people here in the city not actually aware of just who is the last name on that list – the violinist, Nicola Benedetti.
She was here in Barga during the summer and will probably be back once the warmer weather is with us again – at which point we will see about an interview with her to find out some more details concerning her Barga background but in the meantime here is an interview with her from another publication:
The cover of her new album shows Nicola Benedetti in faded sepia, clutching a scuffed leather violin case and sauntering towards a rather nice green-and-white 1960s Vespa.
The album’s name, Italia, is scrawled in breezy cursive above what looks like the entrance to a rustic Tuscan villa. “Actually, we were in England and it was freezing,” says Benedetti. “And no, I did not ride the Vespa. That would have been a very bad idea.”
For all the retro-chic props, Benedetti’s trademark image is still centre stage. Masses of long dark hair, eyes made up à la Sophia Loren, shapely legs bare up to somewhere behind the fiddle case… Fans of the violinist’s glamorous side will not be disappointed. But the album also marks something of a departure for 24-year-old Benedetti: a first-time venture into repertoire that is both deeply personal and demands a new way of playing.
The personal connection is fairly self-evident. Benedetti’s parents were both born in Italy and came to Scotland as children. Despite a hearty Ayrshire accent, she herself has spent a significant chunk of her life in Italy, and still spends her holidays there. “This summer we were in Barga, where my father is from,” she says. “It’s where a lot of Scots-Italians are from, and everyone seems to go back at the same time each summer. I was constantly getting tapped on the shoulder to have my photo taken with someone from Kilmarnock or Prestwick. It was a bit much — I mean, I was wearing wee shorts and a vest top, not exactly concert gear, but of course, it’s always great to hear a Scots accent.”
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