Shetland’s internationally renowned fiddler Chris Stout is set to make a welcome return to the isles next week when he and long term musical associate Catriona McKay play two concerts as part of their Scottish winter tour.
The concerts, promoted in association with Shetland Arts, will be in the Baltasound Hall, Unst on Wednesday and again the following evening in Lerwick Town Hall.
Both concerts start at 7.30pm and support will be provided by Shetland’s young vocalist Erin Sandison, who currently holds the coveted title of Shetland Young Musician of the Year.
The concert in Unst will be totally acoustic, and the duo will also be performing material from their forthcoming album, as well as popular material from their back catalogue.
Chris and Catriona have toured throughout the world as a duo for a number of years to ever-increasing acclaim, while both also maintain high profile and successful solo careers in their own right. Their musical association doesn’t end there of course, as both are also members of Shetland’s legendary fiddle group Fiddlers’ Bid, who last performed in Shetland during the Fiddle Frenzy festival earlier this year.
As well as being recognised as one of Scotland’s leading traditional fiddle players, Chris is also very much involved in the classical music world, having performed alongside the likes of the Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and also the Singapore Chinese National Orchestra.
Catriona is also a musician of international standing in her own right, recognised as perhaps the most exciting and dynamic harp player in the UK today. Again classically trained at the RSAMD in Glasgow, Catriona has forged a varied musical career for herself. She has released two solo albums in her own right, the last of which Starfish received five star reviews throughout the UK and international media and was nominated as Album of the Year at last year’s Scottish Traditional Music Awards.
In 2007 Catriona won the coveted title of Instrumentalist of the Year at the same ceremony. She has also collaborated with a variety of internationally recognised musicians, both on album and in concert In short two astounding musicians in one small but incredibly dynamic and talented package.
Chris said: “We are really delighted to be home in Shetland again as part of this particular tour. We’ve been back recently with Fiddlers’ Bid for Fiddle Frenzy, and previous to that with my quintet for the 2008 Johnsmas Foy, but it’s great to be back with the duo this time as it’s been a long time since we’ve performed here in that particular format. I’m especially excited about getting back up to Unst after so long and of course playing the Town Hall in Lerwick is always a very special experience. It should be a great couple of nights for everyone concerned.”
Bryan Peterson, music development officer with Shetland Arts, said: “It’s a pleasure to be welcoming Chris and Catriona back to Shetland. They’re both truly world-class musicians and Chris is perhaps Shetland’s finest ambassador for progressive folk music. Most people will be familiar with their roof raising performances with Fiddlers’ Bid, but their duet performances allow audiences to enjoy the more subtle and intimate aspects of their composition and performance skills.”
Entry to the Unst concert is on the door on the night, while tickets for the Town Hall concert are available through the Lerwick Box Office at Islesburgh Community Centre or by calling (01595) 745555 or (01595) 692114.