Simon Chadwick: “The Ancient Music of Scotland”

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Simon Chadwick is a specialist in the ancient music of Scotland and Ireland. Simon lives in St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland, and has been studying and teaching the clarsach or Gaelic harp since 1999. He has made four CDs of historical Scottish and Irish music.

In 2007, Simon commissioned a replica of the medieval Queen Mary harp held in the National Museum of Scotland, from the Irish sculptor, Davy Patton. This beautifully decorated instrument with its precious metal strings forms the inspiration for Simon’s investigation of the old traditions.

Simon performs solo unaccompanied, creating a lush and mesmerising sound from the stunning replica of the Queen Mary harp. From short sets as part of a festival or event, to formal evening concerts, he specialises in tailoring the music presented to the location and theme of the event. Simon also works with Gaelic singer Gillebrìde MacMillan in a duo presenting ancient Gaelic poetry chanted to harp accompaniment.

Audio samples

Cumh Peathar Ruari, or Rory Dall’s Sister’s Lament, by Ruaidhrí Dall Ó Catháin (1570-1650), from the CD Old Gaelic Laments (EGH2, 2012): mp3 download, 1.8MB, 1:59


“Simon Chadwick is something of a heavyweight in the world of ancient Gaelic music and he specialises in the Clarsach”
Phil Thomas, Living Tradition 98, October 2013

“A fascinating historical journey... an excellent starting point for those interested in the historical music of Scotland.”
Fiona Hyslop, St Andrews in Focus 28, May/June 2008.

“His performances do full justice to both his regal instrument and his majestic material”
Alex Monaghan, FolkWorld 51, July 2013

“Simon Chadwick combines the art of performance with the skill of the raconteur, and thus his hour-long performance was made easy for anyone not familiar with this style of music”
Garry Fraser, Scots Magazine Summer 2013

Contact details

Simon Chadwick
11 Dempster Terrace
St Andrews
KY16 9QQ

tel 07792 336804

YouTube simonmchadwick
Twitter @s_m_chadwick

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