Film premiere on Sunday 13 December at 5pm on Facebook & YouTube

Following the enormous success of the first ever Virtual Sessions in May this year, the Benedetti Foundation presents the Global Violin Sessions: A Cultural Exchange Part One. Running from 16 November to 13 December, the Sessions will take participants on the start of a trip around the world through the eyes of the violin, in a tale of discovery, globalism and cultural exchange.

Trumpeter, composer and educator Wynton Marsalis has written a short tune which will be played by Nicola Benedetti. It will then be passed round four countries over three weeks – AmericaHungaryFinland and Serbia – from one ‘Virtuoso Violinist’ to another. Each violinist will make it their own. Change rhythms, twist notes, rewrite corners, add instrumentation and colours and effects – and along the way, they will teach the participants how they do it. Participants will gain insight into the musical worlds of each tradition, told by the violin and led by a stellar line up of great musicians.  

America – Week One

  • Tessa Lark – bluegrass tradition
  • Mark and Maggie O’Connor – American folk fiddle tradition

Hungary – Week Two

  • Roby Lakatos – classical, jazz and folk idioms of Hungary
  • Geza Hosszu-Legocky – Hungarian gypsy-Roma traditions and he will be joined by his award-winning group the Five-DeViLs

Finland & Serbia – Week Three

  • Pekka Kuusisto – inspired by the traditional music of Finland
  • Nemanja Radulovic – inspired by the Eastern European folk tradition

Over a four-week period, the leading violinists will teach the participants, through a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons, the nuances and techniques of their tradition. They will delve deep inside their worlds, and participants will not only learn about how to play in their style, but also learn about why they sound the way they do and make the choices they make.

Nicola Benedetti commented, ‘Music has always shown us the similarities and diversities of the human story with nuance, clarity and accuracy. It gently but undeniably states a worldview that requires no rebuffing. There is space in the world for us all. There is space for our individualities and particulars and differences. We are all allowed to be who we are and have love and acceptance of that identity. But how often do we demonstrate acceptance, curiosity and openness towards the story and cultures of others? What happens if you take one tune and send it around the world? The Global Violin is about to start to find out and we can’t wait!’

During weekends from 21 November to 6 December, the Foundation will work live with participants of all ages and stages, and from all over the world, to prepare the repertoire. From the very youngest to the oldest violinists to ensure the fullest community reach. These weekends will be enhanced with pre-recorded tutorials made available throughout the week. Participants will be supported by short practice schedules which coincide with the release of the tutorials. Explore & Discover on Saturday’s offering the opportunity to Meet the Artists, take part in Q&A’s, learn about the violin traditions and performance sessions which are all open to anyone to sign up to. Prepare & Perform on Sunday’s is focused on violinists from beginners to advanced players and everything in between.

Woven together by the masterful hand of Wynton Marsalis, and supported by the Ayoub Sisters, the Benedetti Foundation will produce a series of small compositions based on folk traditions of America, Hungary, Finland and Hungary. The final film will bring these tunes together and take a visual and aural journey around these cultures through the eyes of the violin. On the weekend of the 12 – 13 December, the Foundation will then deliver a final weekend of activities, culminating in the premiere of this short film.

How to get involved

  • Sign up at here to join in
  • The Sessions will be free but with a recommended donation of £20 – 30 per person. Please give what you can, and no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.
  • All of the Foundation’s online work is made as accessible as possible, with many of its resources available to all free of charge.
  • The Benedetti Foundation relies solely on donations to carry out its work and we are very grateful to anyone who is in a position to make an additional donation towards the cost of the workshops.
  • Join in on social media using the hashtags #benedettisessions #globalviolin
  • The Global Violin Sessions will all be delivered in English.
  • The live Zoom sessions have a maximum capacity of 1000 participants in the session. We are able to accommodate 2000 young people per session within Zoom. These will be allocated to young people in order of sign up. Should there be more than 2000 participants, you will all be able to view via the private live stream.
  • Adult participants will be able to view all the live sessions via a private live stream


  • Images from the physical Benedetti Sessions can be downloaded here
  • Images from the first Virtual Sessions in May can be downloaded here

For further press information please contact:

Rebecca Driver Media Relations

Tel: +44 (0)7989 355446 | Email: |

Notes to Editors




  • 1500-1600: Meet the Artists / Style Technique Hub / Q&A
  • 1630-1730: The Story of…
  • 1800-1900: Performance Session



  • 1500-1545: Beginners Violinists
  • 1615-1730: Intermediate Violinists
  • 1800-1930: Advanced Violinists

About the Benedetti Foundation

  • The Benedetti Foundation puts on transformative orchestra-based workshops for young people and teachers, that showcase what Music Education at its best can look and feel like.
  • The Benedetti Foundation unites those who believe music is integral to a great education, and inspires collective action targeted at increasing its reach and quality.
  • The Foundation does this through uncovering and sharing its best practices and celebrating its greatest advocates, whilst loudly demonstrating a reenergised vision for the future.
  • 50% of the activity carried out by the organisation is for teachers. Teaching music well is an enormous responsibility and is hugely challenging.
  • The Benedetti Foundation is fiercely committed to providing meaningful support, extensive information and a sense of uplift, inspiration and respite to as many teachers as possible as well as to promoting music education practices which encourage both musical and civic betterment.
  • The first three workshops took place in Glasgow (3 – 6 January), London (10 – 12 January) and Dundee (6 – 8 March). Across the three weekends, the Benedetti Foundation reached just shy of 3,000 young people and 350 teachers. Participants attended from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland stretching from Shetland to the Isle of Wight. In Scotland there are young musicians from 31 of the 32 local authorities with 81% state educated in Glasgow and 75% state educated in Dundee. 30 of the 32 London boroughs were represented with 64% of participants state educated.
  • The Virtual Benedetti Sessions took place in lockdown and provided musicians of all ages and stages, from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent online tutorials and inspirational workshops. Over 7,000 participants ages 2 – 92 from 66 countries prepared collectively for a final weekend of activity on 30 & 31 May, celebrating the coming together of the global music community.
  • Since July, the Foundation has been running Mini Sessions presenting short, focused workshops designed to provide in depth and detailed exploration on a wide variety of topics. To date the Foundation has delivered 38 sessions to over 6,000 participants.
  • Since its launch in January 2020, the Foundation has met with 16,000 participants from 72 countries.
  • The Benedetti Foundation is a registered charity. It receives no government money and is currently funded through generous philanthropy, corporate sponsorship, trusts and foundations.

More information on the Virtuoso Violinists

Mark O’ Connor

Maggie O’Connor

Geza Hosszu-Legocky

Pekka Kusisto

Roby Lakatos

Tessa Lark

Nemanja Radulovic