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Benedetti bemoans lack of early professional support

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has described the "tough time" she went through after winning the BBC Young Musician Of The Year award aged 16.

The Scots musician revealed yesterday she struggled with the amount of gigs she had to play and described feeling there was a "sort of machine counting on me to keep going".

Benedetti, from West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, told presenter Kirsty Young on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs: "The Young Musician of the Year final happened and I think the next day my picture was on the front of The Times and a practically full concert diary materialised within a very, very short space of time so by the age of 17, 18, I was going through a very tough time."

Benedetti, who is now aged 26, estimated one year she performed 110 times which she said was "far too much" and it led to her going on stage "underprepared" and "nervous".

She said she was disappointed she had not been helped by people around her, saying: "I think I did feel some of that support wasn't necessarily there within the profession, it's extremely cut-throat.

"It was a very difficult moment because I had released my second or maybe third album, I had a sort of machine counting on me to keep going in order for this whole thing to keep working."

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