catriona biog & C.V.

Catriona McKay is a diverse musician who pushes one of Scotland’s traditional instruments - the Scottish harp, to its limits. Through her composition and performing worldwide she is widely recognised for her unique style, inventiveness and daring rhythmic use of the Scottish harp.

Catriona has a duo with fiddler Chris Stout. They explore sounds that connect and challenge through a dynamic and adventurous dialogue of their native Scottish music. It is this special long standing musical partnership that forms an invaluable dimension to their creative output. Their highly acclaimed self-penned cds White Nights and Bare Knuckle were orchestrated by them and have been performed with orchestras in Brasil, Russia, Norway and with the Scottish Ensemble.

Catriona McKay & Chris Stout were awarded BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Best Duo 2018.

“extremely powerful” (Living Tradition)

“virtuosic and physically engaging...” ***** Glasgow Herald

“glittering harp work...exceptional bow control” The STRAD

“Unimpeachable” Irish Times

Catriona has made several cds and tours with Fiddlers' Bid (Scots Trad Music Awards Album of the Year 2010) and is a diverse musician whose other works include duos with Swedish nyckelharper Olov Johansson and Strange Rainbow – a laptop & harp experimental music duo with Alistair MacDonald who features on her solo album Starfish.

She won instrumentalist of the year at Scottish Trad Awards 2007 and 2014.

Her music, while based in Scottish Folk tradition, is yet contemporary and above all adventurous and exciting.

“You’ll wonder how two hands can produce such lush, complex and original sounds and rhythmic patterns, all served up with astonishing clarity. “ Irish Philadelphia .com

 swim lough hyne b&w

Catriona McKay C.V.

Winner of O’Carolan International Harp Festival (Keadue, Co. Roscommon) 1994.

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician semi-finalist 1994.

1st Class Honours BA Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama / Glasgow University 1998.

Caird Trust scholarship & Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music scholarship 1998-2000.

Royal Northern College of Music PGDip RNCM, and PPRNCM (2000)

Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! artist 1999-2002

BBC Radio 3 ‘Young Classical Musician’ finalist 1999

NFMS (National Federation of Music Societies) Young Concert Artist for 2000/01

Premier Prix 1er Concours International de Harpe Celtique Jakez Francois 2004, France

Duo music partnership with Shetland fiddler Chris Stout since 1995, CDs ‘Laebrack’ (Greentrax, 2005) ‘White Nights’ (McKay Stout Music, 2010), ‘Begley, McKay, Stout (2014), ‘Seavaigers’ concerto for Scottish Harp & fiddle with Scottish Ensemble by composer Sally Beamish (2014), Bare Knuckle (2018) Highly acclaimed performances worldwide.

Member of Shetland band Fiddlers’ Bid since 1998, 4 CD recordings, forthcoming DVD. “Best Contemporary Live Music Presentation” nomination at Australian Entertainment Industry Association’s Helpmann Awards (2002) winner ‘Best Live Act 2003’ and winner ‘Album of the Year 2009’ at the Scots Trad. Music Awards.

Catriona McKay Solo cd ‘Starfish’ (2007) nominated ‘Album of the Year’ 2008 Scots Trad. Music Awards.

Winner ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ 2007 Scots Trad. Music Awards.

Catriona McKay finalist ‘Spirit of Scotland’ – Music Category 2010.

Winner ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ 2014 Scots Trad. Music Awards.

Catriona McKay & Chris Stout BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Best Duo 2018


Catriona McKay 2020