Benedetti gives fine start to R3 concerts

Nicola Benedetti and EIF director Jonathan Mills in Nicola Benedetti and EIF director Jonathan Mills dodge ex-hurricane Bertha to bring a smile to R3 listeners

Nicola Benedetti smiles through ex-hurricane Bertha as she helps launch Radio 3's series of live concerts from the Edinburgh International Festival.

The classical violinist took shelter in a BBC broadcast truck, when she joined Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills in the Scottish capital at the weekend.

Benedetti and collaborators will perform Brahms and Shostakovich on Monday in the first of the live morning broadcasts direct from the annual performing arts festival.

This year, the series reflects the anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and will include music from a concentration camp near Prague and songs about conflict by Kurt Weill and Benjamin Britten.

Presenter Donald MacLeod said: 'For a few years now I've had the privilege of being able to sit up in the balcony of The Queen's Hall and enjoy music-making of consistently outstanding quality, introducing the artists and their programmes to the radio audience not lucky enough to be able to be there in person.

'There's always a buzz of anticipation in the hall which comes across on the live broadcast and each year this beautifully-planned series offers up a series of stellar performances.'

Radio 3 has been covering classical music-making from the festival since its earliest days, adding the three weeks of morning concerts to its schedule in 2006.

Programmes like In Tune, Breakfast and The Early Music Show come live from Edinburgh, while the station will also be broadcasting a selection of recorded evening EIF concerts in the autumn, after the end of the BBC Proms.

'Working with BBC Radio 3 to bring the Festival's concerts to people not able to join us in Edinburgh is incredibly valuable,' considered Jonathan Mills. 'We are delighted to be broadcasting 22 concerts with them this year and hope that audiences around the world will tune in to enjoy them.'


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