Ailie Robertson is a musician in the broadest sense: composer, arranger, teacher, improviser and harp virtuoso. “Her synthesis of Irish, Scottish and contemporary harping technique into an individual style represents the realization of otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic harp” (Niall Keegan, 2006).
Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age. Through her piano and clarsach lessons she developed a love for both classical and traditional music, and in 2005 gained a 1st-class MA in Irish Music Performance from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
Although just 23 years old, she already has some of the most impressive
credentials in the Scottish harp world. A 4-time National Mod Gold Medalist,
she was also 1st prizewinner at the inaugural London Harp Competition,
and best overall musician at the Edinburgh Competition Festival. She
has represented Commun na Clarsach for Scotland at the Pan Celtic Festival
in Ireland, and in 2005 she was awarded a scholarship from the ESU in
recognition of her 'virtuosic clarsach playing', and was a winner of
the St Albans New Roots award. She played in the Scottish Harp Orchestra,
Na Clarsairean for many years, performing with them at two World Harp
Congresses - in Seattle and Prague.
Since graduating in 2006, Ailie has been going from strength to strength as a professional musician and has steadily gained recognition as a performer and composer. She works as a soloist for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! programme, and has given recitals at events all over Scotland, including performing for HRH the Queen, and being invited to give a private concert to the Lord High Commissioner and his distinguished guests. She has played alongside many great Irish and Scottish musicians and has supported BBC award winner Karine Polwart. Notable festival appearances include Sidmouth, Cornwall, Whitby, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival, St Albans and many others.
Ailie is currently pursuing her interest in composition further and she has been commissioned to write a piece for the forthcoming Distil showcase in October 07.
When she is not in the studio or on the road, Ailie is a much sought after teacher around the UK and Ireland. She has taught at various festivals, was co-founder and director of the highly successful Borders Harp Weekend and tutors regularly for Feisean nan Gaidheal, as well as teaching privately and in several schools.
She has just released her first album with her band The Outside Track on the Bedspring Music label, which has been described as “the most exciting music, let alone folk music…in years”, and hopes to release her debut solo album in 2008. We hope to be stocking both albums during 2008
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