[Background] [2019 Festival Details] [Videos & Archive] [Memorial]

Dates for your diary:

The 17th Niel Gow festival will be held from 20th - 22nd March 2020 in the beautiful and historic Perthshire village of Dunkeld & Birnam, home of Niel Gow.


If you would like to make a donation to the Niel Gow Memorial Fund please use the PayPal button below or see page Memorial for cheque donations:

Facebook LogoNiel Gow Festival on Facebook



Music In Scotland Logo





New CD played on Niel Gow's fiddle - proceeds to Niel Gow memorial. Click on CD cover for ordering information.



Tickets available from Birnam Arts. Please phone 01350 727 674

Press release available here

Festival Program (Click on pictures to enlarge or print)




Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira

From the West Coast of Canada, Jocelyn Pettit is an award-winning fiddle player, stepdancer, singer, and composer. With grace and passion, she has performed across Canada, and toured in the USA, the UK, and Europe. She has been featured on Canadian national television and radio, and shared the stage with The Battlefield Band (Scotland), The Chieftains (Ireland), and Carlos Núñez (Spain). As a recording artist, Jocelyn has two self-produced albums, both nominated for multiple awards, including “World Artist of the Year” at the 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards, and at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Ellen Gira is a seasoned cellist who has performed at special events and prominent venues throughout the USA and the UK, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and Cadogan Hall in London, England. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland, Ohio, USA). Both currently pursuing Master’s degrees in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Jocelyn and Ellen present a lively and soulful performance of music from Canada and Scotland.

Website: www.jocelynpettit.com


Falkirk Fiddlers

Website: http://www.falkirkfiddleworkshop.org.uk/


Iain MacFarlane, Ingrid Henderson & Allan Henderson

Together multi-instrumentalists Iain & Ingrid create a sound which is reflective of the stunning, culture-rich Lochaber area they grew up in. Based mainly on harp and fiddle, they combine rousingmarches, jigs and reels with poignant slow airs and Gaelic songs of love and loss, giving the listener a unique insight into the culture, history and stories of the West Highlands.

“Stories of the derivation of tunes and recollections enrich MacFarlane’s superbly fluent, always expressive way with a melody”Rob Adams, Herald

“Ingrid complements the playing with intuitive insight adding colour but never overshadowing the lead instrument.”D. MacNeil, Folkmusic Radio


Ryan Young & Chris Amer

Scots Trad Music Awards 'Up And Coming artist of the year', Ryan Young is an emerging young fiddle player bringing new and exciting ideas to traditional Scottish music. He recorded his debut album with triple GRAMMY winner, Jesse Lewis, who has worked with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Bela Fleck. Ryan holds both a first class honours and a Masters degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as well as being a twice in finalist in both the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards and the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Ryan launched his debut album at Feakle Traditional Music Festival in County Clare, Ireland where he was accompanied by renowned guitarist, Dennis Cahill (Martin Hayes; The Gloaming). He was nominated for the Horizon Award at the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, was the winner of Folking.com's Best Musician for 2018, as well as being nominated for Folk Band Of The Year at the 2018 MG ALBA Trad Music Awards.

Ryan focuses mainly on Scottish music, bringing new life to very old, often forgotten tunes by playing them in his own unique way. He is very influenced by the fiddle playing of County Clare, Ireland and has been fascinated by the playing of renowned fiddlers such as Bobby Casey, Paddy Canny, PJ and Martin Hayes and Tommy Potts from Dublin.

Website: www.ryanyoung.scot


'Kist of Musick'
(A Tribute in Words and Music to Nathaniel Gow (1763 - 1831))

Shetland born John Shedden's distinguished career in theatre, TV, radio and film embraces everything from Shakespeare, the classics to solo plays and Variety: "Macbeth", "The Caretaker", "Willie Rough", "Waiting for Godot", "Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis"( Warsaw).  TV includes' Weir of Hermiston', 'City Lights' and 'Still Game'. He created the part of Stan Laurel in "Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy" which transferred from the Traverse to the Mayfair, London. His award-winning one-man roles range from Sherlock Holmes, David Garrick, John Knox, Robert Louis Stevenson and King James the Third to William McGonagall and even Lady Bracknell! John can be heard on the BBC Burns website, and on the CD The Flooers o' the Forest (commemorating Flodden). Classic radio recordings are Redgauntlet, Kidnapped, Whisky Galore, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Dracula and The Master of Ballantrae.

Alastair Savage is originally from Ayrshire and has performed traditional and classical music throughout his life. A prize winning Scots fiddle player, he studied classical violin at the R.S.A.M.D. (now Royal Conservatoire) and the Royal Academy in London before touring extensively as a member of the Scottish Ensemble. He has been a member of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for the past 20 years and has performed throughout Europe, as well as China, South America and the USA, also appearing as soloist on BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 3 and on national radio in the USA.  He has made four albums of fiddle music including many of his own compositions and as a composer his music has been used by BBC Alba for documentary purposes. Recently he has performed as part of the Grit Orchestra at last year's Celtic Connections celebrating the music of the late Martyn Bennett.

 Alastair Hardie was born in Aberdeen and is the son of the north-east traditional fiddle player Bill Hardie. His main contributions to the Scots fiddle revival have been in areas of performance, broadcasting, teaching, adjudication, and in the printed domain as publisher, author and editor. As a player he has appeared frequently at the Edinburgh International Festival, culminating in 1996 in devising and participating in 'Scottish Fiddle Music', a five-concert series surveying the tradition from 1600 to the present day. As a teacher he is best known through his commitment from 1978 to 2006 as a tutor at Stirling University's Scots Fiddle Summer School. Author of The Caledonian Companion, Alastair has also contributed to Scotland's musical life as co-founder (with Mary-Anne Alburger) and violinist with the chamber ensemble Kist of Musick (1978), founding partner in 1984 of music publishers The Hardie Press and founder of The Scottish Fiddle Society.

 Donald Gillan has been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2007. Donald studied at the Royal College of Music where he won all the major cello prizes. After leaving the RCM, he won the Muriel Taylor Cello Prize which enabled him to continue post-graduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music. Donald has enjoyed a varied career playing with many ensembles and orchestras. He has also written music for theatre, recorded solo cello for film soundtracks and played with numerous pop/folk groups and singers. Tours abroad have taken him as far as Japan, India, the U.S.A. and Montreal. In recent years Donald has become increasingly involved with SCO's education and outreach department, Connect, making music with people of all ages from infants to school children to elderly dementia patients. Donald plays on an English cello by Thomas Dodd c.1815.

 John Kitchen is an Honorary Fellow in the Reid School of Music. He is University Organist, Director of the Edinburgh University Singers, and is involved with the Raymond Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments at St Cecilia's Hall and Museum. John is also Director of Music at Old Saint Paul's Episcopal Church and Edinburgh City Organist with duties at the Usher Hall. He gives many solo recitals both in the UK and further afield, and also plays regularly with several ensembles, covering a wide range of musical styles. In addition, he is much in demand as a continuo player, accompanist, lecturer, writer, adjudicator, reviewer and recording artist.


Sandy Brechin Trio

Sandy Brechin is one of Scotland`s best known accordian player. Sandy has been touring all over the world for many years and he has been recorded on over one hundred albums on various labels. He is also a respected tutor at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton for many years.

 Jimmy Johansson is a fiddler and an composer with big diversity. He has been composig both Swedish and Scottish folkmusic for almost 20 years. He has been touring over Scandinavia the last 15 years in different Folkband with roots both Scottish and Swedish Folkmusic.

Christopher Andersson Bång is a well known Swedish folk musician. For many years he has been playing music from Balkan, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Russia – he is a world music traveller.

On a concert with Sandy Brechin Trio you get invited to a world of smashing Scottish reels and jigs, with a touch of the intricately Swedish polska.

Music Videos:





Hannah Fisher & Sorren Maclean

Dunkeld's own Hannah Fisher along with guitarist and Mull native, Sorren Maclean, have been touring as a duo for the past six years. Playing a mix of traditional & contemporary Scottish tunes, they incorporate a love of bluegrass music having spent some time travelling and playing around America, Japan and Europe. Both play with well known Scottish artists Karen Matheson and Dougie Maclean, to name a few, and have recorded their own album and EPs within the past couple of years.


Lesley Thompson & Innes Watson

Lesley Thompson, a graduate in Music and Acoustics from Southampton University, has been performing and teaching traditional music in Scotland for 10 years. She has performed several times on STV and has worked as a session musician and with her bands, performing across the globe and at home in a variety of genres: Traditional, Classical, Bluegrass and Gypsy. She composes and arranges Scottish fiddle tunes, and has competed at the highest level in Scots fiddle, featuring as a Glenfiddich finalist for 3 years 2011-2014 and being invited to championships across Scotland. Lesley plays fiddle, violin, viola, piano, bagpipes, whistle, mandolin and guitar.

Innes Watson, from Glasgow, is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist with over ten years of contemporary and traditional Scottish music performance, recording, teaching and producing experience. He grew up in the Scottish Borders in very supportive musical surroundings encouraging an extremely eclectic mix of skills, abilities, interests and accolades that combine to make Innes one of the most highly-regarded and sought-after musicians on the scene today.

Innes teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (having graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Scottish Music in 2006) and is a firm favourite for adult and youth learning organisations up and down the country. He has appeared on at least 24 albums released in Scotland in the last 15 years and has worked with some of the most notable performers in the country. In 2011 he won the title of “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

A composer of fiddle tunes, string arrangements, guitar music, songs and much more he is currently working on a whole host of exciting new projects to be released in the near future.


Karys Watt & David MacFarlane

Waiting for biog information from artist.


Dunkeld & District Strathspey & Reel Society

Website: http://www.dunkeldstrathspeyandreel.org/


Gillian Stevenson

Waiting for biog information from artist


Suzanne Fivey

Suzanne Fivey is a multi instrumentalist based in Glasgow, specialising in Scottish traditional music on piano. She studied at the National Centre Of Excellence In Traditional Music in Plockton before gaining a first class honours in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She released a collection of compositions in 2013 including full arrangements for piano. Suzanne has performed extensively with fiddler Ruairidh Macmillan, and her current projects include 5-piece Scottish/Irish music and dance group "LAS".

Website: http://suzannescotsmusic.com


Seán Heely, Colin McGlynn & Greg Mannion

Multi-Genre violinist/fiddler Seán Heely is rapidly emerging as one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. Fiddle legend Liz Carroll calls Seán “One powerhouse of a fiddler.” A U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion (2016), award winning Irish fiddler, and a nationally awarded composer, Seán also has a degree in classical violin from the University of South Carolina.

He is a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore Music Center. Recently, Seán was featured on the cover the Fiddler Magazine Winter Issue 2018 as well as an interview article on Seán's journey to becoming one of the foremost young performers of his generation. Currently based in Washington DC, Seán performs locally with the bands Skylark and Glencoe Lads. He is a musical ambassador for the British Embassy Scottish Affairs Office and the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington. When Seán is not performing in the U.S and abroad, he teaches privately and at American University in D.C where he teaches fiddle and improvisation.

Website: https://www.seanheely.com/




Pete Clark

Website: https://www.pete-clark.com/


The Blackford Fiddlers

Website: https://blackfordfiddlegroup.org.uk/


Wendy Weatherby



Web site designed by Music In Scotland Ltd.
Any suggestions?  Email your comments: jiml@musicinscotland.com
All contents © 2004 - 2019 Music In Scotland unless otherwise stated
Last modified: 17 March 2019