Kist of Musick at the Niel Gow Festival,

Birnam & Dunkeld, 16th March 2019


This concert promises to be a highlight of the festival .......               

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.