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Lindsay Davidson

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Lindsay Davidson is a Scottish-born bagpipe player whose teaching methods are practised around the world.[1] He has composed symphonies and opera for the bagpipes, and performs across Europe, with orchestras,[2][3] with a harpist, and with other pipers.

Personal life and education[edit]

Davidson was born in Scotland on 9 April 1973.[4] He began learning the Great Highland bagpipes aged nine, from Pipe Major James Inglis of Wallacestone and District Pipe Band.[5] He was the last person Inglis taught before his death. Later instructors included Bert Barron MBE, P/M John Matheson, BEM and John Graham. Bands included Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band and Torphichen and Bathgate Pipe Band (during their highly successful period 1986–1989).

Davidson was the first person in the world to study[6] for a music degree specifically and exclusively as a piper.[7] He later was awarded a postgraduate diploma (1996) in the double specialisation of composition and computer sound synthesis, and his PhD (2007) in composition (Napier University, Edinburgh). He also holds a PGCE (general teaching qualification) from the University of Sunderland and an MA(Ed) from the University of Bath[8]

He is employed as a Court Composer to the Baronet of Ardgowan and also to the Barony of Fulwood and Dirleton[9], and holds honorary positions as Clan Piper (Clan Davidson) and was Town Piper to his home town of Linlithgow, Scotland for nine years.

Davidson lives in Poland with his Polish wife, with whom he performs.[10]


Lindsay Davidson has specialised in synthesising the bagpipe and orchestral traditions. His PhD thesis (2007)[11] concerned creation of a new technique of composing of 'classical' music, 'manntaireachd', which unites pibroch and orchestral music. He wrote the world's first 'bagpipe opera',[12] Tulsa, to a libretto in Scots by Dr. Tom Hubbard, concerning the Tulsa race riot in 1921 and in particular the part played in trying to prevent this by Scotsman Charles William Kerr. He has since composed three other operas, a chamber symphony, and a symphony called From Beyond[13], using 'manntaireachd'.

Major pieces[edit]

  • Borderpipe Concerto – the first of its kind, uses both traditional and original material
  • Marimba Concerto[14] – premiered by Ryszard Haba of Kraków, Poland, 2006 published by C Alan Inc, USA[15]
  • Tulsa (libretto Dr. Tom Hubbard, opera and also a concert suite of excerpts for trio) commissioned by the Baron of Ardgowan[16]
  • The Ballad of Annie Kerr (libretto Dr Tom Hubbard) commissioned by the Baron of Ardgowan
  • Fulwood Sorrow and Hope dedicated to Camilo Agasi-Pereira of Fulwood and Dirleton, the Baron of Fulwood and Dirleton
  • The New Deliverance (libretto S. I. Witkiewicz)
  • Cockroaches (libretto S. I. Witkiewicz)[17]
  • Symphony Number 1 'From Beyond' commissioned by the Baron of Ardgowan[13]
  • Chamber Symphony Number 1 – dedicated to Stephen and Michael Kerr[18]
  • Solo Bagpipe Music (in the region of 800 pieces) including several collections
  • Double Concerto for Bagpipes and Harp - premiered by Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Monika Bachowska 12 March 2015[19]

Davidson's works are partly catalogued on the Scottish Music Centre website.[20]


Davidson performs on Highland Bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes, Border pipes, Gaita and medieval bagpipes during his concerts. He appears regularly in duet with harp, particularly with his wife, Irena.[21][22] As a trio with harp and soprano (Katarzyna Wiwer-Monita) they form Celtic Triangle and play music from traditional to contemporary compositions by Davidson. He leads a traditional music group, The Reivers[23] comprising bagpipes, harp, violin and percussion, also playing a mixture of traditional and new music. Davidson frequently performs at classical music festivals[24][25] and bagpipe festivals[26] across Europe and Venezuela, receiving warm reviews: in France, "Lindsay Davidson, the Scottish bagpipe player who won over the public and governing body alike";[26] in Poland: "From the very first song and first notes, many listeners were transported to the land of old Scottish music. .... The music was not only melancholy, but also lively and joyful. Everyone who attended was very positive about the concert."[23]

A major part of Davidson's work is performing with 'classical' ensembles ranging from string quartet to orchestras, including the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio led by Agnieszka Duczmal, and Leopolis Chamber Orchestra of Lviv,[27] where he was a resident soloist. He has toured Japan (2009, 2010, 2011), Australia (1998, 1999) and the United States (1998, 1999, 2000), holding workshops and performing.


  • Philharmonic Bagpipes – bagpipes and string orchestra
  • Celtic Triangle – bagpipes, harp and soprano
  • Teribus – The Irony Board – bagpipe duet with Richard Kean, now unavailable
  • Dances of the World Volume 1 and Volume 2 choir and string orchestra Leopolis (guest performer)
  • Blown (guest performer with Richard Kean[28])
  • Another Way – published by Castello Group, Poland 2009. Cracovie Ensemble (string quartet)


In 1996 a group of piping teachers in Edinburgh, Scotland (Andrew Sutherland, Richard Kean, Lindsay Davidson)[29] formed The Davidson School of Piping, which Davidson ran for 5 years.[30][31] Davidson's method of teaching was derived from piano and conducting teaching, and contains elements based upon the Kodály Method and the New French Method of rhythm[32], separating the mechanical aspects of playing music from the emotional, learning each area in isolation and then reuniting the aspects. Davidson published his method as Brain based Learning to Sing.[33] He has given workshops in Australia, Denmark, Japan, Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, Ukraine.[10] Davidson is a co-founder and Educational Director of the Embassy International School in Krakow[34]


  • Translation of Chopin, by Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski, published by PWM/Bosz, 2009
  • Translation of Music in Literature: Perspectives of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature.[35]
  • On Teaching Bagpipes, 2013[32]
  • Smallpipe and Borderpipe collection, 2013[36]
  • Preliminary Tunes for gaita, 2014[37]
  • Exercises for Beginner Bagpipers, 2013[38]
  • Modern Method for Great Highland Bagpipes (reissued 2013)[39]
  • L'Homme Armé. Tunes for Medieval Bagpipes.[40]
  • The Place and Potential of Music in the Primary School. A Literature Review[41]


  1. "My Life: Lindsay Davidson". Krakow Post. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  2. "News / Long Live Poland! Music Tells Stories of Our Fatherland". Warsaw Philharmonic. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. "Not only the Scots love bagpipes - an interview with Lindsay Davidson". Filharmonia im. Karola Szymanowskiego w Krakowie. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  4. "Scottish Music Centre on Lindsay Davidson". Scottishmusiccentre.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  5. "Wallacestone and District Pipe Band website". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  6. "All Celtic Music website". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  7. Dickson, Joshua (2013). The Highland Bagpipe: Music, History, Tradition. Glasgow: Ashgate. p. 242. ISBN 9781409493945. Retrieved 29 October 2018. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. "Embassy International School website". Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. "Barony of Fulwood and Dirleton website". Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Lindsay Davidson official website". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  11. "British Library e theses online service". British Library. 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  12. Seenan, Gerard (28 April 2003). "Bagpipe opera: Scots composer breaks new ground". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Symphony Number 1: From Beyond. Createspac Inc. 12 July 2013. ISBN 978-1490990972. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  14. ""MARIMBA CONCERTO" DAVIDSONA I INNE UTWORY W BYDGOSZCZY". Culture.pl. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  15. "Fantasia for Marimba". C Alan Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  16. "Kerr of Ardgowan website". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  17. Cockroaches. Createspac Inc. 12 August 2013. ISBN 978-1491001455. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. Chamber Symphony 1. Createspac Inc. ISBN 978-1490991627. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  19. "concert W ŚWIECIE INSTRUMENTÓW". Filharmonia Krakowska. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  20. "Catalogue". Scottish Music Centre. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  21. "Ballada Pasterska youtube video in concert". Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  22. "Gazeta Wyborcza news item". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Slovenska Lupca". Slovenska Lupca town authorities. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  24. "Cozy concert during the XVIII International Festival of Chamber Music and Organ in Miłocin". Trzebnica district. 30 Aug 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  25. "NYM Chamber Music Festival Programme 2014" (PDF). North York Moors Chamber Music Festival. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Le festival de cornemuses, c'est parti pour trois jours en juin". L'Indépendant. Perpignan. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  27. "Polish Music Newsletter, vol. 8 no. 4, April 2002". Usc.edu. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  28. "Bagpiper at Large. Texas Professional Bagpiper available for funerals, weddings and other entertainment events". Richardkean.com. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  29. "Teach Yourselfbagpipes website about page". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  30. "Bagpipe Resources". Stanford.edu. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  31. "Industry Directory - Davidson School of Piping". Scottish Music Centre. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  32. 32.0 32.1 see on Teaching Bagpipes, authored by Lindsay Davidson. Createspace Inc. 21 March 2013. ISBN 978-1482626582. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  33. "Brain based Learning to Sing" (PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  34. "Embassy International School website". Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  35. Music in Literature: Perspectives of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature. Translated by Lindsay Davidson (Polish Studies - Transdisciplinary Perspectives). Peter Lang Edition. 2014. ISBN 978-3631627389. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  36. Smallpipe and Borderpipe Collection. Createspace Inc. 28 October 2013. ISBN 978-1494221577. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  37. Preliminary Tunes for Gaita. Createspace Inc. ISBN 978-1499358766. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  38. Exercises for beginners. Createspace Inc. ISBN 978-1492235170. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  39. Tutor Book for Great Highland Bagpipes. Createspace Inc. ISBN 978-1484883686. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  40. L'Homme Armé: Tunes for Medieval Bagpipes. Createspace Inc. ISBN 978-1515251200. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  41. The Place and Potential of Music in the Primary School. Createspace Inc. 26 March 2016. ISBN 978-1530758838. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]

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