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New Year's Honours: Kate Bush and Nicola Benedetti among music recipients

Kate Bush

Story by Jack Foley

SINGER Kate Bush has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer is known for her eclectic style and distinct voice and has won several music awards, including a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist in 1987 and an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2002. Her honour recognises her services to music.

Bush found fame at the age of 19 when her debut single Wuthering Heights topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in 1978, making her the first woman to have a UK number one with a self-penned song.

She has since released 10 albums, three of which topped the UK Album Chart, and has had 25 UK Top 40 hit singles, including Running Up That Hill, Babooshka, The Man With The Child In His Eyes and her duet with Peter Gabriel, Don’t Give Up.

She is regularly cited as an influence by several of her contemporaries, including Tori Amos, Björk, Alison Goldfrapp, KT Tunstall, Lily Allen, PJ Harvey and Florence Welch.

Commenting on the recognition, Bush said: “I feel deeply honoured to be included in this list.”

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti

Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti has been made an MBE for her services to music and charity.

Born to an Italian father and Scottish mother, Benedetti has worked with organisations such as Sistema Scotland to help demonstrate the power that music can have in transforming the lives of young people.

Since 2005, she has visited schools throughout the UK in conjunction with the CLIC Sargent Practice-a-thon, in which she encourages pupils of all ages to pick up their instruments and enjoy classical music.

And in 2010, she became involved in El Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise project, a music initiative partnered with Venezuela’s El Sistema, which sees her make regular visits to Raploch, in Scotland, to conduct masterclasses and work closely with the children.

Musically, the talented violinist has never looked back since being named BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 2004 at the age of 16.

She began learning her instrument at the age of four, and had completed all eight musical grades by the age of nine prior to winning the BBC accolade, as well as performing as a soloist at London’s Wigmore Hall by the age of 11.

And in her teens, she performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia.

After winning the BBC award, she landed a record deal at the age of 17 and really began to show her range, often concentrating on less celebrated works and being driven by a desire to bring classical music to a wider audience – an ambition that also saw her perform on the main stage at T in the Park in June 2012.

Benedetti’s instrument of choice is a 295-year-old Stradivarius.

Upon being recognised among the likes of Kate Bush and Tracy Emin, she commented that it was “at least a step above any other honour you can get in the UK”.

The 25-year-old added that the honour had come as a “complete shock”, saying that it was “definitely not the kind of thing you’re looking for, expecting or even thinking of at my age”.

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