Blazing fiddle

Nicola Benedetti, violinist.

Nicola Benedetti, violinist.

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Nicola Benedetti set Sheffield City Hall ablaze with her incendiary violin playing.

The Scottish-born musician was simply sensational, delivering a knock-out performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

There was no need for any histrionics or grandstanding as Benedetti used her pure talent and virtuosity to give a brilliant rendition of one the best-loved pieces in the classical repertoire.

Benedetti’s superb performance was jaw-dropping and even she looked genuinely surprised at the thunderous applause she received as the first half of The Halle’s programme came to an end.

Kicking off the evening’s entertainment was the overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute which provided the perfect curtain-raiser.

The second half saw The Halle in full flow delivering Dvorak’s Symphony No 7.

Energetic conductor Rory Macdonald was in fine form at the helm and in any other circumstances the symphony would have been the highlight.

But that slot had already been taken by the enigmatic Ms Benedetti.

Classical music returns to Sheffield City Hall on Saturday, March 17, when the BBC Philharmonic plays works by Grieg, Beethoven and Nielson.

ANDREW JARVIS