Nicola Benedetti endures heartbreak

Nicola Benedetti endures heartbreak


norman lebrecht

December 15, 2020

The Scottish violinist comes close to tears when announcing the suspension of the Christmas concerts she had initiated in Battersea.

She says, quite rightly, that nowhere are the Covid rules more stringently observed than in a concert environment. But rules are rules and London is being shut down.

Watch her very moving appeal.




  • Quarantina says:

    Truly wonderful Nicola should also ask the audience to stop flaunting these rules elsewhere— it’s not the government who parties all over London and floods the Oxford street, it’s the people being reckless and letting other industries down by doing these cheeky parties and overcrowding.
    It’s down to our sensible behaviour to stop the need of lockdowns

    • SVM says:

      The government exists (ostensibly, at least) to serve the people. If the people do not feel lockdowns to be expedient/necessary any more, then the government should stop imposing them. The people are not a bunch of renegade children who need to be told about “sensible behaviour” (although it is true that people and government alike are not taking the climate emergency seriously enough). We do live in a democracy, right?

      • Rogerio says:

        Ask the person lying face down in an intensive care unit, with a ventilator tube in his mouth:
        Sir, we do live in a democracy, right?

        • Norbert says:

          That’s like saying to the victim of a car-crash, “Don’t worry – we’re banning cars from tomorrow.”

          To those who opine, “a human life is beyond value,” I say Nonsense; the Law quantifies the precise value of a human life every day in awards, damages, and insurances.

          It’s what actuaries do every day.

          • V. Lind says:

            I don’t think even the coldest actuary would equate the value of one human life against someone’s attendance at a concert in a hall.

      • V. Lind says:

        Serving the people — ALL the people, not just those expressing their special interests — requires occasional imposition of rules. Some of the people ARE ” a bunch of renegade children.” I have seen news coverage of young people in pubs over the summer, far from observing any social distancing, rather having mini-raves. And if you have seen any of Trump’s fans recently in their demented demos, en masse — how are they so sure they are immune? Over 300,000 people have now died in the US.

        Of course NB is disappointed, and the cancellation is regrettable. I have no doubt much work went into scrupulous preparations for an event designed to bring joy in a near-joyless era. Many more plans and hopes have been dashed by what now looks like a mutant strain that those who must are scrambling to learn about.

        The least we can do is try to adhere to policies designed for no other reason than to keep people safe. And it would really help if fewer people were whingeing about it like spoiled brats. (That is not aimed at you, or Ms. Benedetti — you have voiced a view and she has expressed a feeling — but at the ignorant sort of noise-makers I see from American TV).

        • Hayne says:

          Covid death are up. Deaths by heart disease, cancer are down almost at the same rate. Remarkable coincidences! Oh yeah, does anyone know people who have caught the flu or a cold even this year? Ha ha! More people are catching on…

      • William Safford says:

        “The people are not a bunch of renegade children who need to be told about ‘sensible behaviour'”

        Certain commenters herein contradict your opinion….

          • William Safford says:

            For those who want false information….

          • Hayne says:

            You are obviously afraid of hearing or reading other opinions that may disagree with your worldview. I do feel sorry for you because obviously you are a bright person.

          • William Safford says:

            Look in the mirror. You just described yourself.

            The issue on your part is the choice of which opinions to believe and to repost, and the fact that you do not learn when corrected by others with the facts.

            You routinely repost disproven opinions, quack remedies, and other false and incorrect info from uncreditable, outdated, and/or debunked sources.

            From time to time you do repost something legitimate, such as the sad story of the boy who committed suicide and its connection to the social isolation surrounding the pandemic. We need to be cognizant of the consequences of our actions, as we attempt to stave off mass sickness and death. Even so, it may not be the whole story: for example, that story says as much about the poor mental health care in the U.S as it does about the pandemic itself.

            Even when presented with facts and factual evidence, you do not learn from others. Instead, you continue to repeat what you clearly hold near and dear to you.

            You remind me of the following exchange on TV: “When pressed during the interview with Chuck Todd to explain why Spicer would ‘utter a provable falsehood’, [KellyAnne] Conway stated that Spicer was giving ‘alternative facts’. Todd responded, ‘Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.'” (Wikipedia–and I remember hearing it live when it aired on TV)


            You are not alone in this, and I give you credit that you are not offensive in how you deliver your false opinions, but you do so with great regularity and intransigence.

            You can fix this, if you want to.

          • Hayne says:







            I can easily go on but here are some groups of doctors and scientists opposing nonproven lockdowns and other health damaging edicts by governments…for example, are over
            50,000 scientists and doctors wrong here?

            are these doctors ALL wrong?

            Of course, these doctors are wrong…

            These 689 Belgian also must be wrong…

            Again, I could go on. I’m trying to show people there isn’t just one “side.” Why are so many doctors and scientists basically being ignored by MSM?
            I will never understand why leftists generally accept anything from “official”
            sources with no critical thought at all.
            I am inundated every day by media on so many topics that are so demonstrably absurd that I am amazed anyone takes them seriously. Obviously, some do.

          • David Lauder says:

            What is “demonstrably adsurd” about Covid 19?

          • Hayne says:

            Wow! Please read my quote again…

          • William Safford says:

            All right, let’s tackle them one at a time:

            “Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Review Finds Flawed Research and No Benefit”


            Founded by Joe Martino 2009, Collective-Evolution is a clickbait, conspiracy, and quackery-level pseudoscience website.

            Re BMJ article: I am not familiar enough with what is happening in the UK to comment.

            “The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a conservative non-profit association founded in 1944. The group was reported to have about 5,000 members in 2014. The association has promoted a range of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being gay reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and that there is a causal relationship between vaccines and autism. It is opposed to the Affordable Care Act and other forms of universal health insurance.” (Wikipedia)

            Out of context, who knows what that chart says or doesn’t say.

            I also could go on.

            Your sources lack credibility. They repeat quackery and pseudoscience. They are not credible.

            So, again, please stop repeating lies and discredited information. You may be sincere, unlike many other posters, but you are wrong.

            Wrong information about COVID, unlike wrong information about the notes on a page of music, can kill.

          • Hayne says:

            Snopes and Wikipedia…
            I have to admit you’ve got me there:)

          • William Safford says:

            As I said, I can go on.

            Your sources spread lies and pseudoscience.

            Until you accept this fact, you will continue to spread lies and pseudoscience.

            If you believe them, then you have fooled yourself, or allowed others to fool you.

            If you don’t believe them, then you’re also a liar.

          • Hayne says:

            American Medical Association gives green light for hydroxycholorquine October 30, 2020.


            You may call me a liar all day but please don’t call thousands of scientists, doctors and health care worker liars. As I’ve said, you’ve shown no evidence against what I’ve written.

          • William Safford says:


            “Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have concluded that hydroxychloroquine does nothing to prevent Covid-19-related deaths.

            “The research is a continuation of a major clinical trial that found that the drug — which has previously been touted by President Donald Trump and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro — had no clinical benefit.”

            Where did I find that article?



            So, again, please stop repeating false information, out-of-date information, and quackery. Please stop cherry-picking such items.

            Even better, stop believing it.

          • Hayne says:

            AMA article OCTOBER 30, 2020. They reversed what they said before. I’m trying to show musicians and other readers there are other ways that can help covid19. Why you are so angry about possible help is beyond me. Where is the cost/benefit analysis of lockdowns? How many people needlessly died before the AMA reversed itself on hydroxychroloquine? Why were they against it right after Trump mentioned it’s possible effectedness? My opinion is big pharma and orange man bad syndrome.

          • William Safford says:

            I am adamant about countering false information, quackery, outdated information, and lies.

            The solution on your part is easy: stop repeating false information, quackery, outdated information, and lies.

            Even better: stop believing false information, quackery, outdated information, and lies.

            It is not helpful to repeat false information, quackery, outdated information, and lies as if they were facts. It is, in fact, bad.

            It is not helpful to repeat things that the Orange Enemy of the People says, since he is a documented liar with over 20,000 lies to his name since taking office.

            Much of the false information, quackery, outdated information, and lies that you repeat can injure or kill someone if they believe it and act based on it.

            There was legitimate confusion in the early days of this pandemic, about what the facts actually are about such basic questions as how deadly it is, how it is transmitted, and what drugs may or may not help with the symptoms or the disease itself.

            We now know far more about it than we did early this year.

            It is time to stop repeating bad information. In fact, it was time to do this months ago.

          • Hayne says:

            Dude! You have issues. Starting with disproving anything. Try this one again.


            Don’t worry. I won’t waste both of our times anymore showing you studies which you refuse to even look at.

          • William Safford says:

            Stop repeating false and/or out of date information.

            It’s that simple.

            I have researched your links.

            The November AMA one you cite, was a *proposal*.

            The proposal was rejected. In fact, it was opposed vociferously.


            (I can refer you to multiple other references.)

            Do I need to add “misleading” to the list of things that you should stop repeating?

            Very well:

            Please stop repeating false information, quackery, outdated information, *misleading information*, and lies.

            (It also falls under the category of “outdated information.”)

            As for the links that you keep posting: if they are from reputable organizations, such as the AMA, I have read them.

            In each case, they have either not supported your point, or they are out of date.

            If the links are from disreputable sources, then I have not wasted my time reading them. (American Association of Physicians and Surgeons? It’s known to be a quack site that spreads right-wing conspiracies and disinformation. The American Communist Party? Is that an attempt at humor?)

            You apparently believe the falsehoods that many propagandists put out there. You are not alone in this, but you keep repeating false information, quackery, outdated information, *misleading information*, and lies, over and over again, even after you have been corrected multiple times.

            I again recommend that you stop believing falsehoods, and that you develop skills for discerning credible sources of information.

            But first you need to recognize that you have a problem.

          • Hayne says:

            You are right. I misread the proposal to be voted on. My mistake. The AMA just tabled the proposal without a vote. My fault. My other fault was being foolish enough to think the AMA would go against big pharma. Oh well.
            Keep checking me because I will never stop trying to help people see there is plenty of evidence against all the health “orthodoxy” going on out there. If I can persuade just one person not to even believe the evidence but to think twice when they read official “news”, my work won’t be in vain.
            The Communist party endorsed Biden.
            So what. I thought it was funny:) Come on, David Duke endorsed Trump…

          • William Safford says:

            You are not helping “people see there is plenty of evidence against all the health ‘orthodoxy.’”

            You are repeating false information, quackery, outdated information, misleading information, and lies.

            “If I can persuade just one person not to even believe the evidence but to think twice when they read official “news”, my work won’t be in vain.”

            This makes no sense.

            You want people not to believe evidence?

            There is a place for reading the news critically. There is a way to do so.

            You are not doing it.

            People die from misinformation. Don’t be a cause of it.

      • psq says:

        “… people do not feel lockdowns to be expedient/necessary any more…”
        Do people in the Britain really feel lock downs are not expedient/necessary when the infection rate is still climbing exponentially?
        You have already admitted that there is a bunch of people behaving questionably like not taking climate change seriously. Therefore, by the same logic, why can’t you accept that there is also a bunch of people that behave like renegade children with regards to public health, i.e., will not adopt a “sensible behaviour”.
        It is precisely this fact that there will always be some who are anti-social that cause harms to the rest. At present this harm, or even death, is an infection that we have not a handle to yet- efficacy and long term implications of any of the vaccines are still under study even as they are being ministered to a section of the population.
        If we have such high trust of all the people behaving sensibly all the time, why don’t we remove all the traffic lights. Surely all people are sensible enough to sort themselves out at the road junctions.

      • John Humphreys says:

        How about driving through red traffic lights if you don’t agree with them – or even on the wrong side of there road?

        • Hayne says:

          Driving through red lights
          and on wrong side of roads are proven to be wrong by facts such as accidents. Lockdowns have no proof, just “offical” pronouncements.

      • We are in a serious crisis when lives are at risk. That is why we have to set aside some of our perceived ‘rights’ in order to deal with the virus, and the long-term effects suffered by some, and deal with it together. We can achieve control over Covid-19 and its mutations by keeping to the rules set by Government and the Medical and Scientific professions. It isn’t much to ask in the shorter term is it? Think about it. One Christmas. I know it is completely heart-breaking to have to decide whether to visit family or not. I know that too and will have to celebrate Christmas alone this year because I am not in my family’s bubble as they live some miles away. But we shall unite on Zoom. Next year’s will come round again and we can have a ball. Those who flout the rules will still expect the NHS to be there for them if they contract the illness. Hmmmm!

        • Hayne says:

          “…rules set by government, medical and scientific professions.” What if many highly esteemed medical professionals and scientists disagree with the government? A ridiculous question surely…

      • Mark (London) says:

        City folk are the worst at ‘behaving like renegade children ‘ .The Idiots in London are amongst the worst

    • Andy says:

      Whoever is to blame for ‘overcrowding Oxford Street’, it’s not the arts or the artists, yet they’re being treated, in many ways, worse than so many others. Tomorrow in London you can crowd onto Oxford Street, onto the tube, and into small shops, or go the gym, sauna, pool, hairdresser etc……..but you can’t go and sit in a carefully controlled large theatre that has painstakingly made itself far more secure than many of the places that you can go to. It makes no sense. The lack of consistency and the way the arts are being treated is down to the government – they make the rules.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      You want “flouting” there, not “flaunting.”

    • Christopher Clift says:

      Small point – flouting the rules is breaking them, flaunting them is putting them on show. (Otherwise I agree with your point entirely Qarantina)

  • Bill says:

    Yes, concert halls certainly are much more cautious about “covid rules” than hospitals, clinics, etc.

  • William Safford says:

    I’m sad that I am not able to perform right now.

    I endure heartbreak for the sick and the dead.

  • Paul Alston says:

    Hi Nicola, so sorry about cancellations. Appreciate even more all the concerts you did at. Snape last weekend which I was lucky enough to attend. Take care.

  • Hayne says:

    I feel so badly for you. It doesn’t have to be this way.