Rhinegold Sophie Williams with Nicola Benedetti at a St Mary’s Music School masterclass.
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Lucy Thraves

Deputy Editor

Nicola Benedetti and Steven Isserlis in new film by Scotland’s St Mary’s Music School

11:46, 20th June 2018

Scotland’s national music school, St Mary’s in Edinburgh, has released a new short film in which the world-class musicians tutor pupils from the school.

In the film, entitled Playing, 19-year-old violinist Sophie Williams and 18-year-old cellist Hugh MacKay discuss the build-up to public performances and outline their plans for the future as they prepare to leave Scotland’s only specialist music school.

Williams was filmed receiving tutoring from Nicola Benedetti at a masterclass in Edinburgh, while Hugh had a lesson with Steven Isserlis in London.

In the film, Isserlis says: ‘The most important thing for a musician is to move their audience, to talk to them. Nerves are not such a bad thing, a little memory lapse, a little slip doesn’t matter to an audience. If you don’t have nerves, then you are so sure of yourself, you are not interest. You need vulnerability as a musician so you “talk” with extra intensity.’

Dr Kenneth Taylor, head of St Mary’s Music School, said: ‘Playing highlights the work of two of our S6 pupils’ journeys as they prepare to leave school to embark on the next stage of their music education. It is available to view online on the school website and our first two films have proved very popular, with tens of thousands of views since their release.’

The first title in the film series, Practising, was released in November 2017. Composing was released in March 2018, and the final title, On Being a Musician, is due for release in autumn.

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