Benedetti to join orchestra's India tour

Nicola Benedetti Soloist Nicola Benedetti will also take part in workshops at Indian schools

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Nicola Benedetti will join the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra tour of India to mark the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Scottish-born violinist, who has just been voted best female artist at the Classical Brit Awards, will be the soloist for public concerts in Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai next spring.

James MacMillan, recognised as the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation, will conduct the orchestra as well as students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The tour - a partnership with the British Council - will also see the musicians take part in school concerts and workshops in each of the cities.

Benedetti said the tour was a highlight of her year ahead.

'As well as playing some wonderful concerts, the orchestra and I will be staying in each of the cities for a few days, giving workshops and getting involved with the local communities,' she said.

Bollywood to Glasgow
BBC SSO tour of India poster

The SSO's first tour of India is the centrepiece of a series of events to tie in with the Games, which will take place in Glasgow between July 23 and August 3 next year.

The celebrations begin on October 11 with the SSO's free concert for schools which will be streamed live to pupils around the world.

This will be followed on January 30 with a Celtic Connections concert celebrating Bollywood composer AR Rahman.

The man who wrote the music for Slumdog Millionaire will bring students from his K M Music Conservatory in Chennai to join RCS students and members of the SSO for an evening of his work at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

Commonwealth Day 2014 (March 10) will be marked, meanwhile, with a live concert from City Halls in which James MacMillan will conduct one of his own works as part of a programme that celebrates composers connected with Glasgow. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

'We are thrilled to be celebrating the Commonwealth Games with such an exciting and ambitious programme of events celebrating and sharing the wonderful musical culture of both Scotland and India,' said Gavin Reid, director of the BBC SSO.

The SSO will also be heard when the Queen's Baton Relay gets under way on October 9.

The orchestra and its chief conductor, Donald Runnicles, have recorded the specially-commissioned music that accompanies the BBC's coverage of the baton's journey to every country in the Commonwealth.

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