Catherine Fraser was born in Adelaide, South Australia. Her father emigrated from Scotland in the early 1960's, meeting a returning young Australian girl on the ship out, whom he consequently married. After living in Auckland New Zealand and then Perth WA, for the first years of their life together, they settled in Adelaide.

The youngest of three children, Catherine was brought up in a very musical environment, with both her parents and two brothers playing various instruments. She began piano lessons at age 7 and started violin a year later, continuing with both instruments until her mid teens. Her passion for Scottish fiddle emerged as a fifteen year old and this rekindled her waning enthusiasm in the violin. She consequently made the choice to stop piano and focus on her classical violin technique, while all the time listening to as many Scottish and Irish fiddle recordings she could find. Catherine went on to study violin at tertiary level and gained her teacher training. Since University she has chosen to specialise in the area of Scottish fiddle. In 1997 she met ABC recording artist Chris Duncan, and spent considerable time with him developing her knowledge of Scottish idiomatic material.

In 1999 Catherine was awarded a Sir Lyell McEwin Fellowship allowing her to travel to Canada to attend the Fiddles of The World Conference and to perform and study on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. She had the opportunity to meet world renowned leader in his field, Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and attend his specialist workshops.
In 2002 Catherine was again recipient of a scholarship, this time from the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers, to attend Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.

Currently Catherine is working with Melbourne based pianist, Duncan Smith and together the duo present a repertoire that is both vibrant and sensitive. Catherine is in much demand as a performer, Scottish Country dance player and teacher and has been invited to perform and teach at functions around Australia, New Zealand and the USA

 

Recent Past Performances

2002 - New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Summer School, Christchurch
- The Boite World Music Café, Melbourne
- Pilgrim Church, Adelaide
- Pleasanton Highland Games, California
- National Scottish Country Dance Winter School, Sydney
- 50th Anniversary Ball, Adelaide

Albums

Kilmarnock - Fiddling Around
Kilmarnock - Kilmarnock

Guest Artist on Albums by

Serge Kerval
Sam Cunningham
The Ceilidh Trail School of Music

Film Sound Tracks

The Selkie

Contact Catherine Fraser

Pianist Duncan Smith is a featured accompanist, band leader and teacher at Scottish music and dance workshops throughout Australia and New Zealand, and across North America. A multi-instrumentalist (piano, harpsichord, guitar, bass, percussion) and singer, he has explored everything from medieval plainchant to rock and roll, but in recent years has focused his attention on playing piano for Scottish music and dance. He began playing piano for Scottish Country Dancing in 1980 in his native Boston, as the first pianist in Barbara McOwen's band "Tullochgorum". He has recorded an album, "Dancin' Music" with fiddler Susan Worland, a CD of Scottish Country Dance Music with David South, "Kardinia Capers", which has made the international Scottish Country Dance Top 40. He has taught and/or played at classes, festivals, weekends and workshops in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. On his new CD "Presence", with Catherine Fraser, his ability to fuse multiple musical styles creates a sensitive and imaginative improvisational backdrop for the rich emotional range of Catherine's playing. Based in Melbourne, Duncan is in demand as a performer, teacher and recording artist.

Contact Duncan Smith


PresenceBuy the CD

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