Here is an Article which appeared in today's copy of 'The Scotsman' Newspaper (3rd April 2006). I strongly disagree with several of the author's points of view within this article. In my opinion the author's remarks about Nicola's performance being disappointing at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, last Friday (24th March 2006) are nothing short of being outlandish!
I agree. Nicola isn't bad, but compared to other young violinists I know of, such as Diana Yukawa, she's not a prodigy either. She has good technique, but I can't for the life of me figure out how she can massacre a piece of music the way she does e.g. the Carmen Fantasy at the Classical Brits last year. Her vibrato is really forced, and she doesn't seem to understand dynamics.
I'm not saying Nicola won't improve, but I'm saying that she needs to take time to develop herself some more before she steps out in the limelight. Right now, she's touted as some sort of mini miracle, which she clearly is not.
The reviewer in 'The Scotsman' asks if Nicola would not have benefited more from taking time out in one of the world's top music conservatories. Well, perhaps she would, provided she had not already been offered a lucrative recording contract. Surely he is not suggesting she should have turned her back on the deal? She may never have got another one.
...Nicola really makes a powerful impression on the hearts and minds of this audience. She delivers this piece to rapturous applause. She is presented with a yellow mixed floral posey. The audience convey their appreciation and she returns to the stage in customary manner with the conductor at least four or five times, before the interval concludes the first half of the Concert.
From that, we can conclude that the audience thoroughly enjoyed Nicola's performance and that is what counts. I saw her live last year and was amazed by her ability, as were the entire audience in the Barbican Theatre in London. Sure there is room for improvement; there always is, but it is disappointing that a young first class Scottish musician should receive such a poor review in, of all publications, The Scotsman.