Top of the charts pop stars make classical strings the star of the show

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December 14, 2021, 6:03 PM | Updated: December 14, 2021, 6:07 PM

Clean up Bandit at the Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball.

Image: Alamy


Clean Bandit lit up London’s O2 Arena with their electropop set influenced by classical music.

Founded in 2008, Clean Bandit is a British electronic music group that incorporates classical pieces by composers such as Mozart and Shostakovich into their music.

The band performed live at the O2 Arena for Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball, broadcast by sister station Classic FM on December 11, and their performance brought the violin and cello center stage for the 16,000 fans watching.

An all-female trio of musicians presented the JBB performance of Clean Bandit; Kirsten Joy on vocals, Grace Chatto on cello and Stephanie Benedetti on violin. The founding members, brothers Luke and Jack Patterson, stood further back on stage, playing synths and drums.

Check out their opening number below.

Read more: A Complete Musical Analysis of Clean Bandit’s “Symphony”

The Trio: who are the members of Clean Bandit?

Grace Chatto is a founding member of the electronic music group and has been performing with the group since 2008.

Before Clean Bandit achieved record success, Grace studied cello at the Royal Academy of Music before reading modern languages ​​at the University of Cambridge, where she met her future band mates.

Read more: Royal Academy graduate Sir Elton John says ‘tragic’ music education is declining

After graduating, Grace began teaching cello at a school and describes the years after leaving Cambridge as “really difficult”.

“[The band] lived in a small room and Jack built a high bed so that we could live under it during the day, with all of our keyboards and our mini studio.

“We did all kinds of random jobs trying to make ends meet, because we really wanted to have a career as musicians. “

A few years later the band released “Rather Be”, their chart-topping single which debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, and it’s safe to say that the cellist now has it. “success” !

The violinist of the trio is Stephanie Benedetti, sister of Scottish star violinist Nicola Benedetti.

Stéphanie has been playing with the electronic group since 2016 and graduated from the Royal College of Music.

In addition to tours with the group, Stéphanie plays regularly with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Philharmonic, and in 2012 she performed as part of a string quartet at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

Other violinists who tour with Clean Bandit include Braimah Kanneh-Mason, who has had his fair share of spotlight as a member of the musical family, the Kanneh-Masons.

The group has collaborated with several singers, such as Anne-Marie, Demi Lovato, Zara Larsson and Jess Glynne.

On stage with the band at Capital’s 2021 Jingle Bell Ball, touring singer Kirsten Joy, an English singer-songwriter who has toured with the band since 2016.

Kirsten, a graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music, first rose to prominence as a competitor in the inaugural 2012 series of The Voice UK singer talent competition.

Live musicians in the foreground

As more and more bands opt for synths and midis to produce their favorite soundscape on stage, it was great to see two live instrumentalists take center stage for this performance.

Grace and Stephanie weren’t the only two musicians to end up in a lead role at the Jingle Bell Ball.

Artists such as Jax Jones performed with a live tenor saxophonist, and Justin Bieber’s set featured several live electric guitar solos.



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