ACCLAIMED musician Nicola Benedetti provided St John's Church with one of its most memorable evenings ever during a unique homecoming concert.

The church was a complete sell-out as violinist Nicola and pianist Petr Limonov lit up the stage with dazzling with a performance across the full musical spectrum.

The West Kilbride woman's ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential artists of her genre.

Nicola, 31, is in high demand with major orchestras and conductors across the globe, so it was a real coup for the church to persuade her to agree to stage the fundraising concert for Dunn Memorial Hall.

A delighted Reverend Jonathan Fleming told the congregation: "I don’t think I can articulate how special the night was.

"I lost count of the number of times I had to remind myself, ‘This is all happening in my church!’

"A huge thank you to Nicola and Petr for a night that my entire family and many others will treasure for a long time to come."

At one stage the violinist became teary-eyed as she told the crowd how she was moved to be playing in front of her home audience with her parents watching.

She took time to explain the life stories of the composers she was performing and explained how this influenced their music.

After rapturous applause and a standing ovation at the end, Nicola and Petr returned to the stage for a fitting encore as they performed Robert Burns 'Ae Fond Kiss', providing a magical conclusion to a spectacular evening.

Rev Fleming thanked wife Karyn, who stepped in as page turner, and daughter Rachel, who presented a bouquet of thanks to Nicola.

Photos: John Keachie