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Birnam Arts and Conference Centre

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The Niel Gow Festival 2017

The Niel Gow Festival 2017
Friday 17th - Sunday 19th March

Birnam Arts is delighted to once again be the central hub of The Niel Gow Festival 2017 a celebration of the life and music of renowned Perthshire fiddler Niel Gow (1727 - 1807) raised in nearby Inver and who is widely regarded as the most talented and influential Scottish fiddler of the 18th century.



Growing in popularity each year, the festival attracts fiddle and traditional Scottish/Celtic musical enthusiasts from across the world. Birnam Arts will be hosting a number of concerts between Friday 17th and Sunday the 19th March in our main auditorium whilst a range of fiddle, accordion and flute workshops take place in our smaller rooms throughout the festival.


Birnam Arts/Murthly Castle/Royal Dunkeld Hotel

Concerts: £15/£7 U16s
Workshops: £8/£5 U16s

Based at Birnam Arts, the 14th Annual Niel Gow music extravaganza brings together not only fiddle players professional and amateur, but also fiddle makers, music publishers and fiddle fans from all over Scotland and beyond. Instigated in order to raise funds for a memorial to 18th century fiddler Niel Gow of Inver, the festival has itself become a living tribute to Dunkeld and Birnam's local hero – Niel Gow even attracted fandom from the great Robert Burns, no less!


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Performances Overview:

Guest artistes this year will be travelling from far and wide, and include the Wrigley Sisters from Orkney, masters of the Donegal fiddle tradition Caoimhin Macaoidh and Peter Campbell and, making a return visit, Northumberland's Roddy Matthews.  Home grown talents include Alastair McCulloch from Ayr, West Highland fiddler Archie Mcallister from Argyll and Birnam's own Karys Watt.

Festival director and local hero Pete Clark will also be appearing over the weekend, in the company of friends including 'cellist Ron Shaw and pianist extraordinaire Muriel Johnstone.

In recent years, the Dunkeld & District Strathspey & Reel Society has gone from strength to strength and, in keeping with what has become tradition, they will kick off the Sunday afternoon concert bringing the weekend's music to a close.


Young Fiddlers:
Young fiddlers are always welcome and, on the Saturday morning of the festival, the main stage at Birnam Arts will be given over to fiddlers from Perthshire schools.

Many of the performers (fiddlers and the accompanists) give workshops as part of their contribution to the weekend - an opportunity which budding traditional musicians should try not to miss!

With guided walks and spontaneous music sessions, the weekend is bound to draw a crowd, so book early to avoid disappointment! 

Tickets will be on sale from Birnam Arts on Monday 6th February.
Niel Gow 2017 Website

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