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Alexander (Aly) Bain


1945 -

Fiddler, known for his dramatic style. Born in Lerwick (Shetland), Bain began learning the fiddle (violin) at the age of eleven, taught by Tom Anderson (1910-91). He initially worked as a joiner, but in 1968 turned to his music professionally and moved to Glasgow.

He became part of the notable quartet The Boys of the Lough, who produced several well-received albums illustrating the interaction between the Scottish and Irish traditions. Bain has also been responsible for two solo albums, namely First Album (1984) and Lonely Bird (1996).

With accordionist Phil Cunningham (b.1960), Bain has become a mainstay of Hogmanay celebrations. The pair have also performed on notable state occasions, such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and the funeral of First Minister Donald Dewar in 2000.

Bain has regularly performed on television and also played internationally, including a capacity audience at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1989. Regarded as one of the best fiddlers ever produced by Scotland, he holds honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and was awarded an MBE in 1994.


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