"An outstanding player, Catherine has a rare grasp of Scottish dance music....and she has a knack of composing and interpreting slow airs." The Living Tradition Magazine, UK
Scots/Australian fiddler Catherine Fraser has gained a reputation as a world-class performer and teacher, and presents the music of her heritage with finesse, passion and sensitivity. Constantly in demand for concerts and workshops and acknowledged for her ability to combine a high level of technical skill with a rare depth of emotional expression, Catherine has gained the respect of audiences and students alike.
Her father was born in Carmyle, and spent much of his life in Aberdeen, where he graduated with first class honours in Geography from Aberdeen University. Accepting a lecturer post in New Zealand, he left Scotland via ship, and on board met Catherine's mother, a Western Australian girl returning home from a three year working holiday in England. The couple ended up settling in South Australia, and their family home was always filled with music of all types.
Catherine began learning piano at age 7 and soon moved to violin as well, inspired by both her father and her eldest brother. At age 12 she rediscovered a Scottish dance band album that she had been played as a baby, and on listening to it realised she knew all the tunes. She soon transferred these to her fiddle and thus began an exploration into Scottish fiddle music that would last her a life time.
Catherine continued her studies in classical music throughout high school and university, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Teaching in 2001. It was traditional music that continued to inspire and excite her however, and she played in many bands for concerts and dances throughout these years.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including The Australasian Golden Fiddle Award for Best Soloist 2010, the Open Fiddle Championship, Kirriemuir, Scotland 2005, and the South Australian Music Industry Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Folk Music in 1996 & 1997.
In 2004 Catherine founded the Southern Hemisphere International School of Scottish Fiddle. Recognising a lack of exposure for Australians and New Zealanders to masters of the Scottish idiom, she established the school as a week-long annual camp, bringing guest instructors from Scotland, North America and Canada, as well as teaching herself. The camp caters for players of all ages and ability levels and has gained a reputation as a world class event.
Since starting work in 2001 with pianist Duncan Smith, Catherine has given performances in Scotland, Canada, North America, New Zealand and of course around Australia.
Some recent career highlights include:
Concert tour USA 2011
Winner Golden Fiddle Award for Best Soloist, Australasia, 2010
Teacher Rocky Mountain Fiddle School USA 2010
Teacher, Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School, 2010
Concert tour USA 2010
Concert tour of UK and Germany, 2010
Teacher at the National Folk School, ACT, Australia 2009
Performer at the National Folk Festival, ACT, Australia 2009
Performer, Jean Patrick Memorial Dance, California, USA 2008
Presenter, NZ String Teachers Workshop, Napier, New Zealand 2008
Performer, National Celtic Festival, Victoria, Australia 2008
Guest teacher, Boston Harbor Fiddle School, Massachusetts, USA 2007
Presenter and performer, National String Teachers Conference, QLD, Australia 2006
Performer and teacher at the Scots Fiddle Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, 20062006