Violinist Benedetti will be the next director of the Edinburgh International Festival

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has been named the next director of the Edinburgh International Festival, becoming both the first woman and the first Scot to take on this prestigious role.

The musician, who started taking violin lessons at the age of four, said she was “deeply honoured” by the nomination.

The Grammy and Brit Award-winning violinist will succeed Fergus Linehan, who has been in the role for eight years.

Benedetti, 34, born in Irvine, now becomes designated director of the festival, before officially becoming its director on October 1.

She said: “This festival was founded on principles of reconciliation and the ideals of art transcending political and cultural divide.

“Following in the footsteps of the wonderful achievements of Fergus Linehan and his predecessors, I will uphold these values ​​and look forward to serving this festival, its mission of cultural exchange and the people of Scotland.”

Keith Skeoch, chairman of the festival’s board, said it was “such a pleasure to welcome Ms Benedetti as the first female and first Scottish director of the Edinburgh International Festival“.

He added: “In many ways it captures the spirit of this festival; internationally recognized and respected but Scottish at heart, it is dedicated to promoting world-class musical creation and innovating new ways to present it to audiences.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, also born in Irvine, welcomed the appointment.

She said: “The Edinburgh International Festival is renowned around the world for its excellent work in bringing together world-renowned artists, celebrating the performing arts and promoting Scotland’s rich culture and heritage to audiences. international.

“I’m sure people across the country are looking forward to supporting the full return of the festival in person after two years and to welcoming visitors and performers from around the world to Scotland.”

Video loading

Video unavailable

Nicola’s father, Gio Benedetti, retired in 2013 after 50 years in the business, selling first aid kit maker Wallace Cameron, which employed 80 people in Wishaw.

The Italian-born Scotsman, based in West Kilbride, had an empire which at its peak spanned six businesses employing 800 people and grossing around £50million.

His first contract saw him sell the dry cleaning business he started aged 18, eight years after arriving in Irvine, to Initial for around £30million at today’s prices today.

He used the capital to buy a paper mill in Birmingham, which he later sold for £9.5million, and a stretch film maker in Shropshire, sold in 2007 for £21million to a management buy. -out run by Benedetti himself and Wallace Cameron, that he moved from Glasgow to Wishaw.

Don’t miss the latest headlines with our twice-daily newsletter – Register for free here.

Darcy J. Skinner