Violinist Eryn Rae named Scotland’s ‘Young Traditional Musician of the Year’

Eryn Rae is the new BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. Image: Alan Peebles

The 21-year-old student, from Borders, triumphed at Glasgow City Halls on the final night of the city’s Celtic Connections music festival.

He began playing the instrument at the age of seven, under the tutelage of Shetland fiddler Catriona Macdonald.

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Based in Glasgow, Rae is in her final year studying traditional music at the Royal Scottish Conservatory in Scotland in Glasgow.

Eryn Rae is the new BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

However, he has already been playing in Scottish singer-songwriter Callum Beattie’s band and toured with Amy Macdonald when he supported her last year. She also performs with Michael Biggins, who won the coveted title last year, has played alongside folk legend Dougie MacLean and was previously a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.

The annual BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition is open to singers and musicians between the ages of 16 and 27.

Winning the honour, which was first awarded in 2001, is seen as a huge springboard to success in the Scottish traditional music scene. The prize includes a recording session with BBC Scotland and a performance at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Previous winners include singers Hannah Rarity, Claire Hastings, Robyn Stapleton, Catriona Watt, Emily Smith and James Graham, and musicians Mohsen Amini, Paddy Callaghan, Anna Massie and Stuart Cassells.

Violinist Eryn Rae of The Borders. Image: Martin Shields

Rae said: “I was in complete and utter shock when my name was read. I almost burst into tears. He was crazy.

“It feels quite surreal to have won, it hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s a complete honor to be among all the names of previous winners.

“I entered the competition mainly for the experience and the challenge.

“I stayed in Glasgow the whole time during lockdown, but I really felt like I was playing with my thumbs most of the time.

“It’s been quite difficult during these times to find the motivation. I thought the award would be a really good thing to work towards.”

“It was a bit spontaneous to decide to enter definitively. I submitted my recordings at 10 pm, before the midnight deadline. It was all pretty last minute.”

The other finalists in the competition, broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Alba, were violinist Breanna Wilson from Glasgow, clarsach player Malachy Arnold from Glasgow, Gaelic singer Saffron Hanvidge from Inverness, piper Skye Malin Lewis and Glasgow pianist Sophie. Joint.BBC Scotland Commissioning Editor Gareth Hydes said: “It’s wonderful to have been able to bring this event back to Glasgow City Councils.

“As always, we were blown away by the great talent on stage.”

Margaret Cameron, Commissioning Editor and Head of Creative Partnerships for BBC Alba Stations MG ALBA, said: “The wealth of traditional music that is presented at BBC ALBA each year is one of the things that makes it stand out as such a cultural asset. valuable, showcasing the best in the business and supporting our creative musicians to bring their voices to audiences across the country.” the harvest in the traditional music scene.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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