Fiddle players from far-flung Australia be visiting the isles later this year, as they join forces with local musicians.
The Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers will be collaborating with Shetland fiddle ensemble Hjaltibonhoga in September as part of their 20th anniversary tour of Scotland.
The musical friendship between Melbourne and Shetland has been ongoing since 2010, thanks to the Bill Sides Fiddlership Award.
Fiddlers will play together in workshops and performances, under the guidance of top Shetland musicians Ross Couper and Chris Stout, both previous recipients of the prize.
The visit will culminate in two concerts with Couper and his brother Ryan headlining a Friday show in Voe on the 25th, while Chris Stout will head a gig at Mareel the following day.
Hjaltibonhoga’s Margaret Scollay said: “We’re very excited [to] begin a collaboration with the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers in Shetland which can be extended when they visit Australia in February next year. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and make new friends and not least to share in tuition from two local fiddlers who are leaders of the international scene.”
Melbourne Fiddlers’ Judy Oleinikov added: “We’ve been admiring Shetland’s strong fiddle scene for years, and to have the chance for our whole group to be part of it for a weekend is incredibly exciting, a real privilege.
“I’m sure sparks will fly when we get together with our Northern Hemisphere fiddle cousins. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of sharing and performing the music we are all passionate about, led by two of our favourite and most inspiring teachers of the genre – what more could lovers of great fiddle music ask for?”
The daytime workshops will also be open to local fiddlers.
On 8th September Scottish super group Session A9 will be performing at Mareel, as part of their only tour this year.
Hailed by Dougie MacLean as ‘the best band to come out of Scotland in 100 years’, Session A9 are made up of members of notable bands such as Capercallie, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers Bid.
The current incarnation comprises of Adam Sutherland, Brian Mcalpine, Charlie Mckerron, David “chimp” Robertson, Gordon Gunn, Marc Clement and Shetland’s own Kevin Henderson.