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.
Aaron’s performance background ranges across a spectrum of styles, including Scottish traditional fiddle, modern and baroque violin, and viola da gamba. He has performed with ensembles such as the Dunedin Consort, Ludus Baroque, Oxford Baroque, Ex Cathedra, RSNO, the Cinematic Orchestra, the GRIT Orchestra, the Evergreen Ensemble (Australia), and Les Musiciens de Saint Julien (France). Aaron is a leading exponent of 17th and 18th-century Scottish fiddle music, performing regularly with Concerto Caledonia, with whom he has made four recordings, made several live performances on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ and BBC Scotland ‘Classics Unwrapped’, and toured Ireland, Finland, and Australia.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Aaron completed an MMus in Historically Informed Performance Practice with distinction at the University of Glasgow and the RCS in 2014. He 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 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.
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.