Murdo Macrae

ARTFORMS: Music , Harp


Murdo is currently a pupil at the City of Edinburgh Music School, where he plays clàrsach, piano and pedal harp. He is from the small West Highland village of Nostie in Lochalsh and took up the clàrsach while in primary school in Plockton.  He is a former student of renowned harpist, Savourna Stevenson, and a current pupil of Charlotte Petersen.

Not having a harp of his own made it increasingly difficult for Murdo to practise regularly and make good progress. Despite this, he made an effortless transition from the clàrsach to its larger relative, and in a short space of time Murdo progressed very quickly to achieve outstanding results in his exams. An illustration of his potential and dedication to succeed in a musical career.

Murdo has a passion for his native Scottish culture. He has an outstanding vocal talent, which together with his clàrsach playing have won him 26 gold medals at local and national Mods.

He played at the Skye Festival and the book launch of ‘One City’ and at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival 2006 took part in a public master class with Edward Witsenburg. 

Murdo's ambition is to study pedal harp at music college and develop his interest in composition and orchestration.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards helped Murdo buy a Salvi Aurora pedal harp.

Since the Award

Since getting his new harp, Murdo has had much success in clarsach and harp competitions in the Edinburgh Performance Festival in 2007-08.  He also performed solo harp at the National Showcase of Excellence of the Scottish music schools. In 2009 Murdo plans to go on to study harp at the Guildhall School of Music on a scholarship.

I would like to express how grateful I am to the Dewar Arts Awards. Thank you very much for your generosity, it will be a great help!