Invited guests are:
- Peter Hedlund – ‘Rikkspelman’ – ‘Fiddler of the Realm’ master nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle) player from Sweden
- Paul Anderson – top Scottish fiddler & Shona Donaldson – fiddler and Scots Singer of the Year from North East Scotland
- Fika Collective – Lachlan Green, Libby McGugan, Malcolm Bushby and Callum Forsyth – Glasgow based band playing Nordic and Scottish music
- V-Dala Spelsmanslag – Sweden’s longest running student folk ensemble from Uppsala University
- The Grassmarket Centre’s Music Groups
Scroll down for more information on our guests:
Peter Puma Hedlund (Sweden)
Peter Puma Hedlund is considered Sweden’s leading traditional player of the modern chromatic nyckelharpa, having won the title World Champion twice, in 1992 and 2000. He earned the designation Riksspelman – Fiddler of the Realm – while still in his teens (1975) through receiving the Zorn Silver Medal. In 2010 he received the Zorn Gold Medal – the highest honour Sweden can bestow on an artist – awarded by Svenska Folkdansringen, the Swedish national organisation for traditional music, dance and handicraft.
Peter is proud of the strong musical tradition and heritage that nurtured him as he grew up in Uppland, learning directly from the old masters – especially Peter’s primary inspiration and teacher – the legendary Eric Sahlström. He is a greatly sought after teacher on a global scale and has influenced all of the younger generation of nyckelharpa players. He was chosen as the Patron of The World Fiddle Day 2017 and lives with his wife Karin and their two sons Jonas and Mathias, in Iste, Hälsingland (about a four hour drive north of Stockholm).
Shona Donaldson & Paul Anderson (Scotland)
Shona Donaldson (left in photo) is originally from Huntly but now living near Tarland in Aberdeenshire with husband, Paul Anderson. She is one of Scotland’s leading traditional singers. In 2009 she was voted “Scots Singer of the Year” at the BBC Alba Trad Music Awards and in 2016 she became the first woman ever to win the coveted “Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions”. She was also a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year and took part in the TMSA Young Trad Tour of winners and finalists from the competition in 2004.
Shona has sung on a number of recordings including an album of the works of Robert Burns in Scots and Gaelic and her solo album “Short Nichts and Lang Kisses”. She performs regularly at home and abroad and guests and has been a guest at festivals like Celtic Connections, Keith Folk Festival (TMSA), Orkney Folk Festival, Cullerlie Traditional Singing Weekend, Willie Clancy Week (County Clare, Ireland) and the Rudolstadt International Folk Festival.
Paul Anderson (right in photo above) is one of the finest Scots fiddlers of his generation. During his competitive career Paul won most of the traditional fiddle championships in Scotland and in 1995 won Scotland’s premier fiddling event, the Glenfiddich Scottish fiddle championship which was until recently, held each year at Blair Castle.
Paul was brought up on the family dairy farm at Tarland near the Cairngorm National Park in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, where at the age of five he discovered an old fiddle under his grandparent’s spare bed, an old French violin which he plays to this day. He began initially with classical tuition but before long joined the acclaimed Scots fiddle group, The Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society. He went on to study for several years with Douglas Lawrence of Buckie, who was the most acclaimed pupil of Hector MacAndrew, 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. 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 lineage which stretches right back to before 1745 and the time of Gow. Consequently Paul is a highly regarded tutor and as well as solo tuition has led workshops and master classes from Aberdeen to Australia and from Banff to British Columbia.
Paul has toured extensively and recorded eight solo albums and over forty albums with artists like Pallas, Rock Salt and Nails, The Cutting Edge and the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society. Paul regularly recites the poetry of Robert Burns and in 1993 he played the part of the young James Scott Skinner in the play “The Strathspey King”. In 2008 Paul performed at a private reception for Prince Charles at Fyvie Castle to celebrate Prince Charles’ 60th birthday and in June 2010 he performed at an 80th birthday party in Edinburgh Castle for Sir Sean Connery at the request of the Scottish Government.
A regular on Scottish TV and radio, in 2011 he presented a series of features on traditional Scottish music and song for the BBC Scotland programme “Landward.” He recently was seen in the film remake of Whisky Galore – wielding his fiddle at a ceilidh! He also is a composer of some repute, having composed over 300 pieces in the Scots style and published some in the Lochnagar Collection as well as has collated other collections of previously unpublished and out of print fiddle repertoire from the north-east of Scotland, with partners such as the Highland Music Trust, Taigh-na-Teud, the Elphinstone Institute and . Greentrax recordings. He has also written articles and given talks and lectures on the subject. http://www.paulandersonscottishfiddler.com
V-Dala Spelmanslag (Sweden)
V-Dala Spelmanslag is a Swedish folk music ensemble, founded in 1961 and the longest running student folk ensemble in Sweden and they are famous for their joyful and energetic playing style. They have also won the World Championships for Student Folk Groups three times.
A “Spelmanslag” is a Scandinavian term for a large group of people playing folk music together and any instrument is welcome in the group. Almost all learning of music is by ear, without sheet music and the musical ability ranges from beginner to very skilled folk musicians without compromising on the quality of sound and fun! There is no audition to join and they meet weekly on Thursdays during termtime at Uppsala University.
The traditional music they play is mainly Swedish, particularly as people often dance at their concerts and the Swedish dancers naturally know the Swedish dances best! Their repertoire does also cover neighbouring countries such as Norway and Finland as well as further afield (such as Scotland). They enjoy social activities, sessions, dance evenings and travelling to festivals in Sweden and abroad – including Northern Streams this April. They are looking forward to coming to Scotland to play tunes and teach traditional dances from Sweden!
Fika Collective (Scotland)
Fika Collective is a newly-formed Glasgow-based group of fiddlers. They share a love of Nordic folk music and other unusual world tunes, choosing their music around the story and distinct visual imagery which the tunes suggest to us. They have recently performed at a number of venues around Scotland including Celtic Connections and the Scots Fiddle Festival. This will be the first time Fika Collective has headlined at a festival.
Lachlan Green is originally from Canberra, Australia where he first developed his love of Scottish and Scandinavian folk music. He has performed in Australia, Scandinavia and the UK, most notably a Hardanger fiddle solo with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Lachlan runs a weekly Nordic tunes session in Glasgow on Friday afternoons which currently appears to be the only weekly Scandinavian session in Scotland.
Libby McGugan is from Glasgow and has been playing traditional music for fifteen years. She has studied music at UHI and at camps in Scotland and the US. She is a hard-core Glasgow trad session addict and co-runs a Nordic session with Lachlan.
Newcastle-based fiddler, bouzouki player and singer Malcolm Bushby is from Tasmania, Australia, with family roots in Scotland. He has studied Scottish fiddle with Anna-Wendy Stevenson at UHI in Benbecula. He has played and recorded with many notable trad musicians including Tom McConville, Aidan O’Rourke, Tony McManus and Catriona MacDonald. He released his first solo album in 2012.
Covering Sally Simpson’s place for this Festival is Callum Forsyth. From the north east of Scotland, Callum is a renowned guitarist with family links to Sweden’s west coast through his grandmother. As a soloist, band leader and deputy, he has performed across Europe and as far as Australia including performances at the Royal Albert Hall and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on guitar and bagpipes. Now an accomplished recording engineer and acoustician, Callum is ‘the guitarist with the best innate polska rhythm’ according to Lachlan.
For those unfamiliar with the word, ‘Fika’ is considered a social institution in Sweden; it means having a break, most often a coffee break, with one’s colleagues, friends, date or family. Apparently the group came together through visiting each other’s homes for coffee, food and tunes hence the choice of name. We would like to think that Fika Collective’s performance at Northern Streams will be similarly refreshing and fun!