News Story

Today it was announced that Edinburgh International Festival Director, Nicola Benedetti, will be the 2023 recipient of the Edinburgh Award. Since 2007, the Edinburgh Award has celebrated individuals who have made a truly unique contribution to the city and brought Edinburgh to national and international attention.

Nominations for the Edinburgh Award are invited annually from Edinburgh citizens and the awarding decision is taken by a judging panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives from all political groups on the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Previous recipients include bestselling author JK Rowling, ground-breaking scientist and human rights activist Sir Geoffrey Palmer, exemplary sportsman Sir Chris Hoy and former Festival Director Fergus Linehan.

Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Nicola Benedetti CBE said:

"I am deeply honoured to receive the Edinburgh Award and humbled to join the incredible list of individuals who have contributed to the cultural fabric of this city. I am grateful to the city of Edinburgh for recognising the importance of the arts and their contribution to our way of life. As my journey with Edinburgh International Festival deepens, this award, as well as the support of the people of this city, strengthens my dedication to our mission: to continue to welcome people from all walks of life into our home, and to give them artistic experiences they will never forget. Thank you so much."

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, and Chair of the Edinburgh Award Panel, Robert Aldridge said:

“I’m delighted that Nicola Benedetti CBE has accepted the decision of the panel and become the latest recipient of the Edinburgh Award. She deservedly follows in the footsteps of some of the finest individuals associated with our great city.

“From heading up one of the world’s most important cultural celebrations in the Edinburgh International Festival, to being a globally renowned musician in her own right, she has represented the Capital with pride, dedication, and skill. Nicola is also one of the youngest ever recipients of the Edinburgh Award which shows the measure and scale of her talent and achievements.

“I’d also highlight the fantastic work of the Benedetti Foundation, based in the city, which focusses on musical education, participation, and experiences. Since its establishment in 2019 it has reached over 50,000 participants of all ages from 103 countries,

“I’d like to congratulate Nicola on behalf of the city, and I’m sure she will continue to do great things in the future, both here in Edinburgh and beyond.”

Nicola Benedetti will be presented with an engraved Loving Cup from the Lord Provost and have her handprints set in stone at the City Chambers later this year.

The full list of past winners can be viewed on the City of Edinburgh Council's website.