North Ayrshire musical sensation Nicola Benedetti has been awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

The talented violinist from West Kilbride was honoured for her services to music.

Having won the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 16, Nicola has gone on to achieve international success.

She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to music and to charity and was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in March 2017

Nicola was also the first Scottish classical musician to break into the official UK Top 20 Album Chart.

Speaking about her CBE, the 31-year-old said: “I am very grateful to receive this honour. Thank you.

“This meaningful public recognition encourages me to deepen my commitment to music, to playing and to providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the education system that serves communities throughout the UK.

“I am more resolved than ever to reinforce my advocacy for arts and culture, and to challenge what it means to teach music well. We often hear about the unintended benefits of studying music. We are also told that an education inclusive of the arts develops character.

“But, let’s also consider the simple and profound beauty of just seeing and hearing people playing and singing together, and offering something personal to an audience full of strangers?

“I have, so many times, witnessed the fulfilment, heightened emotion and sense of community this collective action produces. It shakes us out of the routine and connects us with a higher purpose. It is a truly beautiful, wondrous thing, worthy of our attention and our investment.

“I only hope to prove my worthiness of honours such as this one through my continued and absolute dedication.”