• Andy Shearer

Day 370 - Paul Anderson Plays Niel Gow's Fiddle

Master fiddler Paul Anderson plays a fabulous set of tunes composed by the legendary Perthshire composer and fiddler Niel Gow on the great man's fiddle for last weekend's online Niel Gow Festival .


You can watch free extended highlights of a brilliant lineup of musicians performing at the event here and you can help support this great festival here.

Already something of a legend in the time honoured fiddle tradition of Scotland; Paul Anderson is the finest Scots fiddler of his generation. Although only in his forties, he is already something of an icon in Scotland, a fact duly recognised by two specially commissioned portraits, a lifesize one in Aberdeen Art Gallery and a study which is in the care of the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.


In the tradition of many of Scotland's great fiddlers, Paul is a composer of some repute, having written over 300 pieces in the Scots style. During his competitive career Paul won most of the traditional fiddle championships in Scotland and in 1995 won Scotland'spremier fiddling event, the Glenfiddich Scottish fiddle championship which is held each year at Blair Castle. A regular on Scottish TV and radio, Paul has toured extensively and recorded eight solo albums and over forty albumswith artists like Pallas, Rock Salt and Nails, The Cutting Edge and the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society.


For a short time Paul received private tutoring from Angus Shaw of Banchory before going on to study for several years with Douglas Lawrence of Buckie. Douglas was a Golden Fiddle Champion in 1979 and was the most acclaimed pupil of Hector MacAndrew, the finest Scots fiddler of the 20th century and a player who could trace his fiddling lineage directly back to Niel Gow and the Golden Age of Scottish fiddle music. Gow is regarded as the father of Scottish fiddle music and was a legend in his own lifetime, having played for Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 and being visited by Robert Burns during his highland tour; Hector's grandfather was taught by James Mackintosh of Dunkeld who was the last pupil of Niel Gow. Therefore Paul is part of a teaching heritage which stretches right back to before 1745 and the time of Gow.

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