Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours. It’s been an annus mirabilisfor the 25-year-old, who reached out to an audience of millions as the soloist in the televised Last Night of the Proms, and whose latest album  The Silver Violin has become the UK’s best-selling classical album of 2012.

A tireless supporter of music education through school visits and the El Sistema initiative in Scotland, and a natural idol for young musicians, Benedetti was awarded the royal title in recognition of her Services to Music and Charity. “I am deeply honoured to receive an MBE,” she said. “This has come as a real surprise to me and I am humbled. I hope this honour can help me continue to draw attention to the importance of classical music and the arts in British society.”

Limelightinterviewed Nicola Benedetti in 2012 after she visited schools and ran masterclasses with young musicians in Sydney and Adelaide. Read on.

LL: You recently visited Sydney not to give a concert, but to work with budding musicians at West Concord Public School. How was...