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Allan MacDonald

Born in the tiny Gaelic-speaking township of Glenuig in Moidart, Allan is a leading light in the Gaelic musical scene, and is in demand internationally as a composer, musical director, piper, singer, workshop leader, and lecturer on Gaelic music. One of his myriad gifts is to make pibroch accessible and lovable. His work as a scholar-performer reuniting seventeenth-century piping with its Gaelic roots is influencing a whole generation of pipers. Allan has performed at all of the major Celtic and piping festivals. He lectures on the Scottish Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and has had numerous commissions to compose for BBC television. In 1999 and 2004, Allan directed two pioneering series for the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2005, he co-directed a six-part television series screened on RTE, BBC3 and ITV—“The Highland Sessions”—addressing the common language and musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland, which won the Best Documentary Music Award in Ireland. His approach to performing is infused with an insider’s ear for the fragile traces of historical continuity that survive within Gaelic-speaking communities, and he attempts to reverse the effects of post-Industrial sanitisation and cultural colonialism.