Aaron McGregor is a violinist and AHRC-funded PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow, working under the supervision of Dr David McGuinness and Professor John Butt. His research focusses on a far earlier history of the violin in Scotland than has previously been considered, investigating the social functions, repertoire, and cultural importance of fiddlers from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, and the emergence of a distinct Scottish national musical style.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh and the RSAMD, Aaron completed an MMus in Historically Informed Performance Practice with distinction at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014. His performance background includes an impressive range of styles, including Scottish traditional fiddle, modern and baroque violin, and viola da gamba. As a student, he took part in apprenticeship schemes with Scottish Opera and the RSNO, led the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, NYOS strings, the Edinburgh University Orchestras, RCS Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and performed concertos including Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens, and Bach with the Edinburgh University Symphony and String Orchestras, Telemann with the RCS baroque ensemble and Orkney Camerata, Vivaldi with NYOS strings, and the world premiere of Thomas Seltz’s Violin Concerto with the Edinburgh University Sinfonietta. As a freelance performer, he has appeared with orchestras and ensembles such as the Dunedin Consort, Ludus Baroque, Oxford Baroque, Vignette Productions, RSNO, the Cinematic Orchestra, and Greg Lawson’s GRIT Orchestra. He also regularly plays with Scottish baroque ensemble Concerto Caledonia, with whom he has made live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ and BBC Scotland ‘Classics Unwrapped’, released an album of 18th-century Scottish dance music, and appeared alongside Rachel Podger at the Cottier Chamber Festival.
Aaron is a two-time recipient of the Donald Dewar Award, and has received many performance and academic awards, including the Sir Thomas Beecham Instrumental Award, the Janet Buckley Early Music Prize, and the Niecks Essay Prize (University of Edinburgh), the Willy and Betty McPherson prize for violin, and the Dunbar-Gerber Chamber Music Prize (RCS).
In 2014, Aaron set up West End Baroque, a concert series bringing early music to Glasgow’s cafes and bars, and in 2016-17 he launched the Creative Scotland-funded project ‘Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band: Ceilidh Nights’, a series of historical dance and music nights with Concerto Caledonia.