The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra
PATRON HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL
THE SFO is
Scotland's foremost traditional fiddle orchestra. It is a musical ambassador
for Scottish Music around the world. Audiences come back to hear it again and
The inaugural concert was held in Aberdeen Music Hall in 1980,
bringing together some of the best players from Fiddlers Rallies across the
country into a permanent Orchestra. Since then it has widened its repertoire,
drawing inspiration from the pen of its founding Musical Director, the late
John Mason MBE.
The Orchestra now plays about 6 concerts per year,
usually held in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, the Usher Hall Edinburgh,
Perth Concert Hall, Aberdeen Music Hall, Dumfries, and a major venue in
elsewhere in the UK. It has toured to enthusiastic crowds in Ireland, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and China. The SFO is proud to have played for Royal
events in Buckingham Palace, at Windsor and Balmoral as well as at the Scottish
Proms and at the opening of the Scottish Parliament.
The SFO plays
exciting fun-filled concerts of music song and dance. Rhythmic Jigs, Reels,
Marches and Strathspeys and other pieces in Scottish dance styles are mixed
with nostalgic slow airs, songs and tone poems. On stage the orchestra is
normally joined by dancers, singers and a pipe band. The SFO's recordings cover
the range of these orchestral styles. The delicate slow airs written or
arranged by John Mason are a particular speciality, and contrast with the
gigantic sound of the full orchestra with pipe band which fills even the
Members of the SFO number approximately 120. They come
together from all over Scotland, and other parts of the UK, making this a truly
National Orchestra. The line up includes 'cellos, basses, accordions, flutes,
percussion, a solo piper and piano, as well as first and second fiddles. The
normal playing strength is about 80.
The SFO is a registered charity,
with aims directed at promoting Scottish Music, and it has also generated over
£1m for other charities since 1980. The SFO organises and promotes all of
its own concerts in the UK. Almost uniquely the SFO is run by a Board of
Management, comprising some 12 members of the Orchestra, who aim to maintain a
happy and enthusiastic membership, while continually improving the quality of
the music and striving to bring joy and happiness to its listeners. Entry is by
audition, and there is normally a waiting list. The members are not paid for
their performance, and give freely of their time.
sense and share the enjoyment of the players, and they frequently dance in the
aisles! The SFO hopes that you enjoy its recordings.
Links to Concert
dates are on the Orchestra's website at www.sfo.org.uk where you can also leave
messages for the SFO. Find us on Facebook
Registered Scottish Charity SC010753
"It was party time when the
fiddlers came to town"
"Belfast gripped by Fiddle Fever"
"And even the Queen wanted to
"A feast of Scottish
culture served up with great flair"
York Evening Press
"Rapturous Reception for Scottish Fiddle Orchestra"
"Scots rock and reel
the night away" "A full house...cheered and whistled like teenagers at a rock
concert" "This instrumental and vocal ensemble is every expatriate Scot's dream
SFO Tour of China 2013
The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra is made up of around 120
of some of the finest players drawn from all parts of Scotland. They perform
all over the United Kingdom and have Toured overseas many times in recent
Conductor of the SFO Blair Parham
Founder John Mason MBE, with soloist Yla Steven
With their patron, HRH The Princess Royal, this
Orchestra dedicates its performances to innumerable charities and also keeps
alive the Scottish fiddling tradition with its huge
The Princess Royal
SFO Tour Australia
The SFO also performed with the three tenors Caledon on
'A Beautiful Scottish Evening' in Princes Street Gardens at the Edinburgh
Festival. A recording of this concert is available on DVD and